Offshore oil rigs have always fascinated me. The idea that workers live just above the ocean extracting oil from the earth’s crust for weeks on end is enough to capture my imagination and then some.
As I dug a little deeper (no pun intended), I found a ton of interesting tidbits about offshore drilling that I decided to share with you here.
- In the United States, 565 million barrels are extracted per year via offshore drilling. This is 1.5 million barrels per day, which is just 7 percent of the oil Americans consume every day.
- Offshore platforms are located anywhere from a couple hundred meters to 250 miles off the coast. Some rigs drill as far down as 2 kilometers beneath the surface.
- The Gulf of Mexico has nearly 125 oil rigs in operation.
- The first known offshore drilling happened in Azerbaijan in the 19th century.
- Oil rigs are commonly referred to as “floating cities,” since many different people live on them at any given time. It’s also fun to note that most offshore oil rigs are taller than the world’s biggest skyscrapers.
- It’s been estimated that oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico directly employ somewhere between 10,000 to 12,500 workers.
- The total number of directly and indirectly supported jobs by the offshore industry is 62,500, which is 3.3 percent of the total employment in the state of Louisiana.