Why Deepwater Drilling Rigs?

deepwater drilling rigsDeepwater drilling rigs exist to extract oil and natural gas from beneath the sea floor in deep waters. The drilling rigs come in many different types from permanent to movable. There are many deepwater drilling rigs stationed off the coast of the United States as well as other countries. Recently deepwater drilling rigs have been in the oil and gas industry news due to the Deepwater Horizon platform explosion. The Deepwater Horizon was a semi-submersible rig that was stationed off the Louisiana coast before it experienced an explosion on April 20, 2010 and sank two days later. Immediate attempts to stop the flow of oil from the well through the blowout preventer failed and gallons and gallons of oil reached the Gulf Shore a few months later. The disaster, in conjunction with a subsequent moratorium on oil drilling, caused the loss of many jobs and revenue for the affected states and people.

When operated using guidelines and precautions, deepwater drilling rigs are not usually causes of problems that we have seen recently. Many rigs operate in the same area as the Deepwater Horizon and this is the worst oil spill problem to date. Most of the time problems are controlled by a properly working blowout preventer. The blowout preventer is a series of valves that can close over the well when problems are sensed. This causes the oil to be contained and problems to be reduced. Unfortunately the recent events have shown what happens when oil drilling rigs don’t have adequate blowout preventers among other problems that caused the big catastrophe. Greater caution needs to be used but it is premature to say the United States is finished with its oil dependence.

Oil is not just used to power cars and trucks. It is also used in asphalt, plastics, and petro chemicals. The United States produces about half of the oil that it consumes. Limiting the amount of oil that we allow to be drilled will only increase our dependence on other nations and decrease our freedom. Even if we were closer to finding other sources of energy, we would probably be dependent on other nations for battery components like lithium. Oil is one way that the United States uses its own resources to further its energy needs.

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