Offshore drilling is a process where drilling of oil occurs below the seabed. This process is done to explore for and extract petroleum. To define this process further, it is an oil extraction technique that allows companies to access oil under the ocean floor.
The Jones Act
The Jones Act of 1920 is a U.S. federal statute that provides for the promotion and maintenance of the American merchant marine. Also, this law regulates maritime commerce in U.S. waters and between U.S. ports.
Types of Oil Rigs Used
It is important to note; the type of oil rig used in offshore drilling depends on the type of oil, depth at the location and other current conditions. Examples of oil rigs that are used are drilling barges, jack-up rigs, submersible rigs and semi-submersible rigs.
The Planning Stage
Drilling for oil is not an easy task. It takes time, manpower and various types of equipment. This process can be divided into five categories.
- The first category is to choose a location and make a proposal. There are several ways to choose a location such as measuring samples of soil for hydrocarbon content and seismic imaging. Once a viable drilling site has been found, a proposal for drilling is drafted.
- The next step is to prepare the area to hire the crew for the physical work. In addition, you will also need to employ people to handle the legal and technical aspects of the drilling process. People needed for the technical aspects of the drilling process are ecologists, geologists, attorneys and the construction crew.
- The final step in the oil drilling process is to finalize legal work and establish policies. Documents will need to be completed as well as registration, designation, and a deposit. Keep in mind; if something happens and a well needs to be removed, an agreement by your company will need to be in place. This agreement will be a willingness to remove all operating components in agreement with laws in the state or county. This agreement can be in the form of a letter of credit or a performance bond.
- The second last step is to prepare the soil, drilling, and testing for oil.
- The fifth step is inserting the pipes. Because it takes a lot of time and hard digging to reach the oil; patience, determination, tools, and manpower are needed so that the oil drilling process is successful.
Benefits of Offshore Drilling
Offshore drilling offers a variety of benefits. Offshore drilling will eventually end America’s dependence on foreign oil and petroleum products. It also helps to keep the cost of oil down and that means lower gas prices for Americans. In addition, offshore drilling creates a variety of job opportunities. These jobs range from production to distribution. Sometimes in the unfortunate event of an oil rig explosion though, it can also be reason for the increased employment of maritime lawyers as well.
Most importantly, offshore drilling benefits the environment. Some may not know it, but the offshore drilling rig is huge. It is a complex piece of machinery that provides a safe area for marine life such as birds, fish and a variety of sea creatures.
In addition, offshore drilling builds businesses. Over 459 billion is being spent in the offshore oil and gas market. This not only applies to large businesses but also to local economies and small business. While drilling, offshore drilling companies support local economies and small business owners.
To conclude, offshore drilling provides a host of benefits, economically and for the environment. Find out about The Jones Act of 1920.