If you have been hearing a lot about deepwater or ultra-deepwater exploration and production, but aren’t sure what it’s all about, you are not alone. If you, like many people, have never encountered an offshore drilling rig, it’s natural that you have a lot of questions about the topic. It is a complex and important industry, as deepwater exploration is how oil companies discover the fuel we rely upon. Here are some basics of the business.
How It Works
Essentially, deepwater exploration is exactly what it sounds like – searching deep beneath the ocean floors for oil deposits. This is no small feat, and it must be done with the utmost concern for safety and sustainability. Since there is less oil accessible on land and in shallow waters, drilling companies must go farther to find the oil we need. To do this, oil companies use sonic equipment to locate areas that are likely to produce oil. Next, they dig an initial well, which can become a production rig if any oil is found. As the global demand for oil increases, so does the demand for deepwater and ultra-deepwater exploration. When wells require maintenance, the oil companies must use specialized teams and equipment, as in the Gulf of Mexico interventions, which allow operators to safely and efficiently service them.
Deepwater Drilling Facilities
There are two main modes for mobile deepwater drilling, and drilling can also be completed from fixed installations. The mobile facilities include semi-submersible rigs and drillships. Stationary drilling facilities include floating platforms such as spar and tension-leg platforms. Whichever type of drilling facility is used, companies must take safety seriously. Some companies, such as PRT Offshore, are making waves with smart, innovative solutions that are more effective than older, more traditional methods.
Benefits of Deepwater Exploration
Offshore drilling and deepwater exploration may have surprising benefits you haven’t heard of before. Planning, operating, and manning an oil rig creates jobs, that part is evident. Additionally, deepwater drilling boosts the economy by providing competitively priced fuel that’s necessary for the expansive logistics and travel industries. When oil prices are low, this helps reduce the costs of goods, which in turn helps small businesses and individuals alike. An even lesser well-known benefit is that oil rigs can create unique biospheres that help ocean wildlife.
It can be easy to get lost in the discussion, as there is a lot of buzz about the topic of offshore drilling. With this information, you should have a basis for understanding the important industry of deepwater exploration better.