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Scotland's First Oil Rush

Scotland witnessed the world's first true 'oil rush', when inventor James 'Paraffin' Young first refined lighting fuel from a shale rock known as torbanite in 1851. There followed more than a century of the shale oil industry, which employed thousands and whose fortunes ebbed and flowed with industrialisation and two world wars.

Presented by geologist Professor Iain Stewart, this film tells the story of shale, its lasting impact on one Scottish community - West Lothian - and the massive and unique landmarks still visible today.

Release date:

1 hour

Last on

Wed 24 May 2017 01:00


Role Contributor
PresenterIain Stewart
ProducerMaurice Smith
DirectorBrian Ross
Executive ProducerDavid Harron
Executive ProducerColin Cameron