Offshore Petroleum

In 1947, the first oil discovery drilled out of sight of land was completed off the coast of Louisiana. Notable offshore fields today are found in the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the Campos and Santos Basins off the coasts of Brazil, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, several fields off West Africa most notably west of Nigeria and Angola, as well as offshore fields in South East Asia and Sakhalin, Russia. Offshore oil production involves environmental risks, most notably oil spills from oil tankers or pipelines transporting oil from the platform to onshore facilities, and from leaks and accidents on the platform.

  • Energy in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Featured Article Energy in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Energy in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico

      The Gulf of Mexico has been a major supplier of oil and gas to America for nearly half a century. With declining production from its near-shore, shallow waters, energy... More »

  • Deep natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico Featured Article Deep natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico Deep natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico

    As the United States continues to face increased demand for environmentally safe, clean energy resources, there are increasing calls to look for resources in places that have... More »

  • Planning for the end of oil (7:23) Featured Video Planning for the end of oil (7:23)

    Date of Video: Feb. 2010 As the world's attention focuses on the perils of oil exploration, Richard Sears, an expert in developing new energy resources, talks about our... More »

  • Deepwater oil and gas systems Featured Article Deepwater oil and gas systems Deepwater oil and gas systems

    An offshore platform, often referred to as an oil platform or an oil rig, is a l?rge structure used in offshore drilling to house workers and machinery needed to drill wells in... More »

Recently Updated
Arctic offshore oil exploration spill response planning Last Updated on 2012-05-11 00:00:00 Worldwide, oil and gas companies are being forced by resource declines to drill in less accessible areas, and the Arctic is their newest frontier. This article, written by Charles W. Schmidt*, appeared first in Environmental Health Perspectives—the peer-reviewed, open access journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The article is a verbatim version of the original and is not available for edits or additions by Encyclopedia of Earth editors or authors. Companion articles on the same topic that are editable may exist within the Encyclopedia of Earth. Offshore Exploration in the Arctic: Can Shell’s Oil-Spill Response Plans Keep Up?  All around the world, oil and gas companies are being forced by resource declines to drill in less accessible areas, and the Arctic is their newest frontier. The geology above the Arctic... More »
Offshore oil drilling explained (2:58) Last Updated on 2011-06-14 00:00:00 It's the who, what ,when, where and how guide to Offshore drilling. More »
Oil and water just don't mix Last Updated on 2011-05-18 00:00:00 Oil and water just don’t mix; opinions on deepwater exploration are just as polar. This unit provides teachers with resources to teach about oil in the marine environment and to bring these issues to the surface. Lesson 1: Students will use technology to research current affairs on environmental issues pertaining to oil spills. Students will gain a background understanding of the impact of the Deep Water Horizon spill. Students will make judgments about the efficacy of cleanup response.Students will compare and contrast the efficacy of response to various oil spills.Students will discuss the importance of oil to our society. Students will investigate the chemical properties of oil. Lesson 2:Students will gain an understanding of the environmental impacts of oil to an aquatic community. Students will investigate clean-up methods for oil, highlighting the distinctions... More »
Technology failures, perils of deepwater drilling among Gulf oil spill's lessons (6:50) Last Updated on 2011-04-21 00:00:00 In his new book, "A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea," Washington Post reporter Joel Achenbach chronicles the 2010 struggle to stop what would become the nation's worst off-shore oil spill. Hari Sreenivasan speaks with Achenbach about the battle to plug the BP Macondo well, the lessons learned and the future of deepwater drilling. More »
Transocean counter sues BP, among others, over oil spill liabilities (1:17) Last Updated on 2011-04-21 00:00:00 As the legal battle over the offshore drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico continues to expand, Transocean said today it has filed cross claims against BP and other entities involved in last year's spill. Yesterday BP filed suit against Transocean, which owned and operated the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig, and Cameron International, which manufactured a critical safety device intended to shut down the well in an emergency. BP also filed suit against Halliburton, accusing that company of concealing information about its cement slurry that could have prevented the disaster The claims were filed in federal court in New Orleans. The BP suit said that Transocean is responsible for the failures of safety devices and control procedures and is seeking at least $40 billion in damages. Transocean said in its suit that BP agreed to assume full responsibility for any "loss,... More »