Ocean Drilling, commonly called Offshore Drilling, is one of the oldest methods of drilling for oil. The first Ocean Drilling Platform was built way back in 1896 in Summerfeild, California. This was essentially a long pier that culminated in a steel pipe drill system. The next big milestone was in 1947 when the first oil rig system was built out of sight of land, 10 miles off of the Louisiana coast, in the Gulf of Mexico. By the 1960’s there were buoyant platforms and ships specifically designed for drilling into the ocean bed all over the world. The technology for Ocean Drilling has been researched and developed for 119 years.
Concerns over ecological damage done by Ocean Drilling and any accidents that might occur have led to the Industry being heavily regulated and monitored. The Industry must meet very stringent standards, and perform ecological studies prior to boring any test wells. Many of the companies that supply the manpower, know how, and equipment for Ocean Drilling employ both geologists and ecologists to study the impact any newly proposed well will have on the biosphere around where the well will be built.
Ocean Drilling utilizes many safeguards during the actual drilling. One method utilizes a system to separate the water from the oil, filtering the two, and ensuring that only water gets released back into the ocean. This helps to keep the local biosphere as untainted as possible, and keeps pollutants from escaping into the ocean. Another involves a mechanism to prevent pressure blowouts from the well. If the drill should release pressured oil or gas, hydraulic valves and other closure devices kick in and seal the well while directing the pressurized fluids away from the well and into special containment compartments.
There are a number of companies that have been supplying the equipment for Ocean Drilling for decades. Some, such as RK Pipe out of New Iberia, Louisiana have been supplying new and used drilling equipment for over 30 years. Their experience allows them to provide the highest standards in quality and safety. Having well maintained, quality equipment is perhaps the best method of minimizing accidents and ensuring safe drilling. Being able to have confidence that the tools being used work to their optimal potential makes all the difference!