Deepwater drilling is the process of oil and gas exploration and production in depths of more than 500 feet. By this definition, there are approximately 600 deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico.[1]

It has been economically infeasible for many years, but with rising oil prices, more companies are investing in this area. Major companies working in this sector include Diamond Offshore, TransOcean, and Baker Hughes.

There are basically two kinds of mobile deepwater drilling rigs: semi-submersible drilling rigs and drillships. Drilling can also be performed from a fixed-position installation such as a floating spar (platform) or tension-leg platform.

Recent industry analysis has estimated that the total expenditure in the global deepwater infrastructure market will reach $145bn in 2011.[2]

See also


  1. Tankersley, Jim (2010-06-19). "A closer look at deep-water drilling". Los Angeles Times.
  2. The Deepwater and Ultra Deepwater Report 2011-2021 visiongain