Energy companies looking deeper offshore

More to uncover offshore, drilling company says.
By Daniel J. Graeber   |   Aug. 4, 2014 at 8:54 AM   |   Comments

HOUSTON, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Energy companies are drilling in waters deeper than ever before, though the industry still could tap even deeper, a Danish drilling engineer said.

Frederik Smidth, chief technology officer for Danish energy company Maerks Drilling, told Fuel Fix -- the energy arm of the Houston Chronicle -- that energy companies were looking to the future of offshore energy development.

"We're drilling wells that we couldn't have drilled 20 years ago," he said in statements published Sunday. "But there's a lot more we haven't seen yet."

Maersk said it's trying to breathe new life into an industry working with a fleet of offshore rigs in need of replacement.

The company this year established a goal of reaching further into ultra-deep waters and ultra-harsh drilling environments with new rig technologies.

The Macondo well, which failed and led to the BP oil disaster in 2010, was drilling to a total depth of more than 18,300 feet below sea level in waters more than 5,000 feet deep.

Rig contractor Transocean last year said it set a world record offshore drilling operations in a water depth of more than 10,400 feet off the coast of India.

The American Petroleum Institute last week outlined recommended practices for the installation of so-called capping stacks, a mechanism developed in the wake of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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