Gulf Answers to Efficiency Versus the Downturn

April 20th 2010, 50 miles off the Louisiana coast the future of deep water drilling was called into serious question when the Deepwater Horizon exploded killing 11 workers. The environmental effects of 100 million gallons of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico after safety features failed has been felt in the area ever since.

Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling unit on fire 2010

map of the gulf of mexico
Thanks to Uwe Dedering. The Deepwater Horizon was drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. It was sited at the Macondo Prospect when the accident happened. It sank 36 hours later in 5000 feet of water.

People died and many more of the 126 crew were injured, the significance of which was almost forgotten in the scramble to decide who was to blame and who should pay to clear up the sea.

It presented the world with the reality that as exploration was pushing into deeper and deeper water so increased the challenge to ensure safety. This of course is in addition to the inherent technical problems of ultra deep, mile plus drilling.

Compounding the issue is the downturn in the market. Safety measures are never cheap after all. With fields near shore becoming crowded every effort in the area to drive down cost is welcome.

According to the article below there might be light coming from the gloom of the near future. Technology is the cornerstone of the oil and gas industry and from adversity come some of the best solutions.

diagram of new drilling system
SwageHammer integrated liner-hanger system claims to increase wellbore integrity one of a range of  projects aimed at reducing overall production costs in deep water.

If the profit is falling the ideal answer is to operate for less.  Have a look at a few US suggestions for improving deep water efficiency.

Offshore mag article

 

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