Offshore oil production is the process of extracting oil from undersea oil fields. Drilling oil wells on land is difficult enough. In order to maintain an adequate oil supply, it is necessary for oil companies and oil producing nations to explore offshore production. Offshore oil drilling presents many unique difficulties not found on land. It is also more expensive and more dangerous.
An offshore oil platform is the base from which offshore oil drilling is performed. An oil platform is a superstructure which either floats on the sea or is attached to the ocean floor. Offshore platforms contain the drilling equipment, machinery, oil handling apparatus, and other items required for offshore crude oil production. Platforms also contain the living quarters for the crew. These offshore crude production platforms are located many miles from shore and are accessible by boat or helicopter only.
Weather, waves, and ice are the primary enemies of offshore oil producing platforms. Hurricane Katrina of 2005 devastated many offshore crude oil production facilities in the Gulf of Mexico. The resulting chaos caused a steep spike in oil prices. Offshore oil platforms must also be protected from waves. Platforms can be either anchored directly to the sea floor, or attached by multiple tethers. Offshore oil producing platforms in cold climates, such as the North Sea, must be built to withstand ice floes and icebergs.
Production of offshore oil greatly increases the length of the oil drill used. The drill bit must extend through several thousand feet of sea water before contacting the sea bed. Then the drilling through rock can begin. Offshore crude oil production also poses environmental hazards. If pipes or wellheads feeding offshore crude oil production facilities break, large amounts of oil could be released into the sea.
Offshore oil drilling is a difficult proposition. However, it is necessary for maintaining existing oil supplies. New drilling techniques, such as angle and horizontal drilling, allow a single offshore oil platform to access multiple oil deposits. As oil companies find new underwater oil fields, offshore oil production will continue to thrive.
Mayoor Patel is the writer for the website http://oil-production.oil-universe.com/ . Please visit for information on all things concerned with Offshore Oil Production