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In a remote sheltered harbor guarded by two precipitous headlands, in the North of Scotland, dozens of oil rigs are sitting idle, some for more than a decade, quietly waiting for offshore oil drilling to become profitable again.

The Cromarty Firth Port Authority (CFPA) was established in 1972 as a dry dock for repair and fabrication of oil platforms operating in the North Sea. This region, which includes the shallow waters of the U.K., Norway, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, is one of the world’s most active offshore drilling region with hundreds of actively drilling rigs, but its days of prime are long past. With oil prices steadily declining for the last couple of years, many oil companies have decided to suspend operation, but they are still hopeful that prices will bounce back again.

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Photo credit: Michael Elleray/Flickr

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