Deep Water Drilling Scene

Deepwater Drilling Accidents Attorneys

Deepwater drilling is a form of oil and gas drilling that takes place at depths of more than 500 feet. Deepwater drilling is performed in the Gulf of Mexico. Currently, there are more than 600 wells located in the Gulf. With the rise in oil prices, our nation has looked to other means to increase our domestic supply. Deepwater drilling is what led to the tragic events in April 2010 when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, causing the worst maritime accident in American history.

Semi-Submersible Drilling Rigs

In order to drill in deep waters, oil and gas companies use mobile offshore drilling units (MODU). One type of MODU is the semi-submersible rig.  These specialized marine vessels are equipped with heavy equipment such as cranes. Semi-submersible rigs are used for drilling in waters that are deeper than 120 meters. The rigs float because these units rest on pontoons that are weighted in order to prevent the vessel from rocking back and forth with the waves. Semi-submersible rigs are sensitive to changes in load, which requires constant monitoring by maritime workers.

Drill Ships

Drillships are slightly different than semi-submersible rigs. Drillships are maritime vessels that are equipped with a drilling apparatus. They are most commonly used for deepwater drilling but they are sometimes employed for scientific research drilling. Scientific drilling is a way to venture below the Earth’s sediment and take samples of crust, upper mantle, and rock. Some scientific drilling can even go to depths of 3,400 meters. These are depths too dangerous for humans to venture into. Likely the most advantageous aspect of drillships is their ability to drill at depths greater than 2,500 meters. They can venture out so deep because they are not dependent on any other unit for support. The drilling apparatus is lowered from the ship down to the well. The apparatus is equipped with a blowout preventer in the event that the well ruptures. 

Maritime workers who work in deepwater drilling often fall victim to serious accidents or even death.  If you or a family member has been seriously injured or killed during a deepwater drilling accident, it is very important that you contact a highly-skilled, deep water injury lawyer immediately. Learn about your legal rights from an experienced deepwater drilling injury attorney at Herman Herman & Katz, L.L.C. by filling out our free, no-obligation case review form located on this website.

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