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Sixty Harvests Left: How to Reach a Nature-Friendly Future

New Film ‘The Oil Machine’ Reveals The True Price of our Dependence on Oil and Whether Activists and Investors Can Spark its End
By Jason Peters
November 2022

Cosmic Catand Sonja Henrici Creates are thrilled to announce that new documentary THE OIL MACHINE, directed by Emma Davie (Becoming Animal, I Am Breathing) and produced by Sonja Henrici (Merkel, Time Trial) will be released in UK cinemas from 4th November 2022, just ahead of this year’s COP 27 commencing on 6th November, in addition to an impact campaign which promotes urgent and critical discussion.

The Oil Machine

THE OIL MACHINE explores our economic, historical and emotional entanglement with oil by looking at the conflicting imperatives around North Sea oil. This invisible machine at the core of our economy and society is now up for question as activists and investors demand change. Is this the end of oil?

IPCC Climate Report signalled "Code Red" for humanity & urged no more drilling for fossil fuels: New Powerful Film ‘The Oil Machine’ Reveals The True Price Of Our Dependence On Oil - Released 4 Nov Days before COP27.

The Oil Machine

Director, Emma Davie
 said: “Over the next few months, the UK Govt aims to put out 100 new licenses for oil companies to bid for exploration rights in the North Sea. These companies are likely to be from all over the world. This is at a time when the IPCC Climate Report has signalled "Code Red" for humanity and urged no more drilling for fossil fuels. How does our democracy deal with this largely unknown world of oil at our doorstep at a time when climate change is causing fires, floods and huge devastation to people all over the world? Now more than ever it is vital we understand what is happening in the North Sea. We need to be informed about processes such as the licensing rounds which hitherto have been invisible to most of the public and to understand the link between finance and oil. 

This film is made to stimulate debate across the country at such a significant time. Screenings and public debates will be hosted by different sectors of the community ranging from MP's to activists, scientists to lawyers, teachers to investment bankers. Every sector of our country is affected by this and we aim to mobilise a huge public discourse in all areas of society.”

The Oil Machine

THE OIL MACHINE reveals the hidden infrastructure of oil from the offshore rigs and the buried pipelines to its flow through the stock markets of London. As the North Sea industry struggles to meet the need to cut carbon emissions, oil workers see their livelihoods under threat, and investors seek to protect their assets. Meanwhile a younger generation of climate activists are catalysed by the signs of impending chaos, and the very real threat of global sea level rises. THE OIL MACHINE explores the complexities of transitioning away from oil and gas as a society – are we getting ever more embedded in it?

We have five to ten years to control our oil addiction, and yet the licensing of new oil fields continues in direct contradiction with the Paris Climate Agreement. This documentary looks at how the drama of global climate action is playing out in the fight over North Sea oil. 

By highlighting the complexities of how oil runs through every aspect of our society - from high finance to cheap consumer goods – THE OIL MACHINE brings together a wide range of voices from oil company executives, economists, young activists, pension fund managers and considers how this machine can be tamed, dismantled, or repurposed.

The Oil Machine

The film features a fascinating array of voices, including:Holly Gillibrand (dubbed “Scotland’s Greta”), Kevin Anderson (Professor of Energy & Climate Change, Manchester University), Emeka Emembolu (Senior VP of BP North Sea), Jake Molloy (Regional Organiser, RMT Union), James Marriott (co-author of Crude Britannia), Mikaela Loach (Edinburgh medical student), Sir David King (former UK Govt. Chief Scientific Advisor), Deirdre Michie (CEO of Oil & Gas UK), Steve Waygood (Chief Responsible Investor at Aviva Investors), Tessa Khan(climate lawyer from Uplift), Ann Pettifor (economist & author), and others.

“I believe that what we do over the next five years will determine the future of humanity for the next millennium.”  Sir David King, UK Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor 2000–2007, in THE OIL MACHINE

The Oil Machine

Tessa Khan (climate lawyer from Uplift) said: “The Oil Machine is an incredibly timely look at the role that the oil and gas industry has played in shaping the UK. When we are in the midst of a historic energy affordability crisis and climate crisis, it’s vital that we examine the ways that the industry has become entangled with our politics. The UK Government’s recent announcement of a new oil and gas licencing round—despite the fact that it will do nothing to bring down the cost of energy and will only further fuel the climate crisis—is just the latest example of the power that the industry wields. There has never been a more urgent need to shift away from oil, and yet we are witnessing an industry in resurgence. The next few years will be a vital test of whether or not we can stand up to the oil machine.”

The Oil Machine


The film is launching an impact campaign to engage discussion and create a call to action, starting with its signup page here: theoilmachine.org/after

We live in an oil machine and we are running out of time. The film shows how much we depend on oil and gas, and why that needs to change.

Through THE OIL MACHINE, the film plans to engage different facets of society in the discussion about how we transition away from an oil-based economy:

  • Sparking discussions after watching the film

    Every screening of THE OIL MACHINE can kick off a discussion in your community on how the North Sea plays a role in determining our future.

    No matter if you're an oil worker or a climate activist, an investor or an educator, a scientist or a politician – we’d love to hear from you if you can be part of the discussion at one of our screenings.

    We also make it very easy for you to host your own event.

  • What’s been happening since filming?


    The issues raised in the film have become even more urgent with recent upheavals in energy security, the cost of living, and our climate. One year on from the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, we’re now going back to the film’s contributors to ask them how recent global events have shaped the ongoing debate about oil.

  • What needs to come after The Oil Machine?

    We have to act now and make sweeping changes that move our societies away from dependence on fossil fuels. What will you do to help? What are your demands from those in power? We're asking the film’s contributors to share their ideas to get you started.

The Oil Machine – Official Trailer

A Sonja Henrici Creates Production for BBC Scotland and supported by The National Lottery through Screen Scotland.

THE OIL MACHINE will be released in UK cinemas from 4th November 2022!

Running Time: 82mins

Social Media:


Follow: facebook.com/theoilmachine & twitter.com/theoilmachine + instagram.com/theoilmachine

Visit the website for more: theoilmachine.org

The Oil Machine

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