THE DEEPWATER HORIZON DISASTER

Welcome to the weekly newsletter for the latest news on shipping, offshore and drilling industries with the latest jobs.

This newsletter has the latest news stories and information on offshore employment, shipping, new projects and more. For those looking at working offshore or within the maritime industries this will give you some basic information on what is happening in the offshore industry and what jobs are there and more importantly for new entry people what qualifications and experience is required.

I would apologise that many did not get some of the newsletters due to a database problem and everyone should now be receiving them as the problem is now resolved.

We will feature job news next week in light of the tragedy of the Transocean drilling rig disaster Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico. Stay tuned as we will update the causes and ramifications on drilling and employment as they occur

THE DEEPWATER HORIZON DISASTER

Like many individuals who are employed on offshore drilling rigs, the catastrophic explosion and inferno that occurred on the Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible drilling rig is a severe reminder of the threats experienced in deepwater offshore drilling for oil and gas.

Few will forget the spectacular primetime news images and the severe lean the stricken rig took as the fire continued, before submerging under the waves a few days later on April 22 at 5:30 pm.

Our thoughts are with the families of the 11 rig workers who were lost along with another 17 workers who were injured, three of them severely. Having personally encountered a serious offshore rig explosion myself, it brought back loads of memories. Like many in the drilling industry who have worked for Transocean we are totally dismayed and saddened by this Oil Rig Disaster.

The deepwater DP semisubmersible drilling rig is owned and operated by Transocean and was drilling under contract to the BP oil company. Transocean are the world's leading offshore drilling contractor and possess 140 offshore drilling units.

The Minerals Management Service declared that there are 90 drilling rigs working inside U.S. waters in the Gulf of Mexico with oil production presently at 1.7 million barrels per day along with 6.6 billion cubic feet of gas output each day.

The Deepwater Horizon drill rig was drilling the Macondo Prospect for BP about 52 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana. BP are partners in this along with MOEX Offshore which includes 10% and Anadarko who have 25% of the working interest in this operation.

They rig had reportedly just fixed and cemented 7 inch steel casing in the well before it exploded and caught fire at 10:00 pm on the night of April 20, 2010. The rig was drilling in a water depth of around 6940 feet and had drilled to a total depth of 18,360 feet.

Following the explosion, the U.S. Coast Guard launched a significant search effort for the 11 missing rig crew and up to six firefighting ships stood by the burning rig to attempt to contain the massive fire. The US Coast Guard sent helicopters from New Orleans and Mobile to evacuate rig workers and also to aid in the hunt for the missing crew. Four USCG cutters were also mobilized to the scene.

While many ignorant people with little offshore drilling experience or understanding speculate about the cause of the disaster (its still subject to investigation)and question the rig safety record, others try and apportion blame to BP who are being unfairly demonized. It must be stated that BP did not own and operate the drill rig and the Deepwater Horizon was a well proven and advanced rig. It was reported that the drilling rig had at least three safety inspections in 2010 and just prior to the blast there was no signs of any issues on board.

People need to understand that significant fires and explosions on offshore oil drilling rigs are somewhat uncommon as they are designed with fire prevention and safety as a priority at the construction stage.

Fire is the worst enemy offshore and at sea on vessels and safety is the leading facet of all operational tasks and activities, as evacuation isn't simple to carry out.

This is why drilling companies chase after and hire experienced workers.

The Minerals Management Service declared that there were 39 fires or explosions offshore in the Gulf of Mexico within the initial five months of 2009, and all these were categorized as slight or incidental.

Follow the subsequent articles on this tragic event as the oil contamination crisis grows and the political and industry fallout continues, where drilling procedures will be explained including other helpful data.

THE US RIG COUNT IS UP AGAIN

US drilling activity continued its slow rise with 1,492 rotary rigs working this week, 9 more than the previous week and up from 928 a year ago. New entry job hunters need to target these opportunities.

Land operations accounted for the latest gain, up 13 units to 1,430 drilling. Inland waters activity declined by 2 rigs, however, with 12 active. Offshore drilling was down 2 rigs to 49 working in the Gulf of Mexico and a total 50 units in US waters.

Of the US rigs working, 953 were drilling for natural gas, 5 fewer than the previous week. The number drilling for oil increased by 15 to 528. There were 11 rotary rigs unclassified. Horizontal drilling was down 1 rig to 764. Directional drilling increased by 1 unit to 230.

Texas had the biggest gain among major producing states, up 7 rotary rigs to 634 drilling. New Mexico’s rig count increased by 3 to 59. Colorado was up by 2 to 52. North Dakota, Wyoming, and Alaska added 1 rig each for respective counts of 100, 36, and 10. Pennsylvania was unchanged with 79 rotary rigs drilling. Louisiana, California, and West Virginia were down 1 rig each to 213, 30, and 21, respectively. Oklahoma and Arkansas dropped 2 rigs each to respective counts of 120 and 40.

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