18 June 2010

Deepwater Oil Exploration Realities

The FT reminds us that there is a lot of ocean out there beyond the Gulf of Mexico:

The Gulf of Mexico is still under a drilling moratorium after the BP oil spill but plans to step up deep-water exploration on the other side of the world, in the South China Sea, remain largely unchanged.

CNOOC, the Chinese state-controlled company with exclusive rights to develop China’s offshore resources, ordered safety checks on all its rigs after the BP disaster. But long-term plans still aim to step up deep-water exploration.

“Offshore and especially deep-water oil and gas discoveries have great significance for replenishing China’s and the world’s oil resources,” said Zhou ­Shouwei, CNOOC vice-president, in comments posted on the company’s website on June 10.

“We can’t cancel or stop deep-water oil and gas extraction because of the accident in the Gulf of ­Mexico.” . . .


  1. Most of the planet is relatively unexplored when it comes to oil and other natural resources. The US far outstrips everyone else in oil exploration over the last century and we still find new resources from time to time.

  2. Here's a cunning Norwegian plan to prevent ecological damage from disasters like Deepwater Horizon by installing all the drilling rigs and pipelines in huge tunnels and chambers under the sea-bed (link to Google translation of an article in Aftenposten):


    That page says the site is only 200m underwater. Elsewhere, North Energy talks about 400m.

    Cheap fantasy or expensive solution?