Deep Offshore Oil Rigs: Deeper Offshore Problems
The dangers of offshore drilling only exponentially increase as rigs drill deeper than they ever have before. In the frenetic search for new resources to relieve the scarcity of oil deposits, boundaries are being pushed, tested, and occasionally crossed altogether. As technology strives to keep up with the demand, offshore oil companies invest millions, even billions, into their rigs in order to accommodate the ever-deepening reaches of drilling. In many cases, precautions and safety measures are simply inefficient, often due to the high costs of rig construction and lacking enforcement of “best practices.”
Chevron’s Petronius Platform
Weighing in at around 43,000 tons, Chevron’s Petronius Platform is an example of a newer rig with a deep reach. At 2,010 feet tall, the rig is the world’s largest freestanding structure, larger than the Eiffel tower! It is designed to withstand hurricanes and operate in depths of 2,000 feet. Its processing equipment can handle 60,000 barrels of oil and 100 million cubic feet of gas per day. Located about 130 miles southeast of New Orleans, its sole purpose is to recover the nearly 100 million barrels of oil equivalent in a field that was discovered in 1995.
While the sheer mass of the rig is impressive, its mere construction has already served as an example of the dangers of offshore drilling. During construction, a production module worth $70 million was dropped and completely lost after a cable snapped, endangering the lives of workers near the incident.
Digging Deeper Into Problems
The fields of oil contained beneath ocean floors are tempting for many. Since 2010, wells have been engineered to be 40% deeper on average than wells built before that date. As rigs drill deeper, the environment grows more hostile to the equipment. Temperature and pressure drastically increase, and chances for an explosion or other dangerous incident subsequently rise. The risks companies are willing to take in order to secure oil are astounding. Technology and worker safety seem to be constantly in a game of catch-up with brash company ventures.
Representing Offshore Workers Throughout the Nation
At Arnold & Itkin, our Houston offshore injury lawyers have seen too many workers and their loved ones suffer from injuries while working offshore—especially in the oil drilling industry. Financially-motivated companies are willing to put lives on the line for profitable gain and refuse to take blame for accidents that occur later. Our firm is here to put a stop to that. We ensure that workers and their loved ones are well taken care of through any disaster they may face and provided with the just compensation they need for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
There is no telling what will come from the explorative methods and in-depth structures being built to secure more oil, but Arnold & Itkin is standing by to help those who suffer as a result. Contact us for a free case evaluation!