Rig Disaster and Oil Spill

More about the oil spill and 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.

Rig Disaster and Oil Spill

Our thoughts are with the families of the 11 rig workers who were lost along with another 17 workers who were wounded, three of them gravely. Having personally encountered a serious offshore rig explosion, 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 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 endeavor for the 11 unfound rig crew and up to six firefighting ships stood by the burning rig to attempt and 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 unfound crew. Four USCG cutters were also mobilized to the scene. The media are now concentrated on the massive oil spill and environmental disaster.

While many ignorant people with little offshore drilling experience or perception hypothesize about the cause of the disaster and question the rig safety record, others try and apportion blame to BP. It must be stated that BP did not possess 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 sign of any problems on board.


People need to understand that significant fires and explosions on 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 with only minor oil spill incidents. More about the oil spill and disaster