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August 21st, 2013

Increased Offshore Deep Water Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico

Deep water drilling activities in the Gulf of Mexico are back on the rise. According to data reported in RigZone , as of April 23, 2013, there were 37 semisubmersible and drill ships that were operating in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Experts estimate that number could reach 52 by June 2014 and 54 by December 2014.

Most of the major oil and gas companies have a deepwater presence in the Gulf of Mexico including Shell, which currently has the highest number of rigs with 7 rigs under contract in the Gulf of Mexico.  BP has 6 deep water rigs, while Chevron has 5 and Anadarko has 4 rigs. Other companies include Petrobras, BHP Billiton, Walter Oil and Gas, ExxonMobil Corporation, Global Energy and Apache Corporation.

Deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico suffered a downturn after the offshore explosion of 2010.  The massive explosion on the Deepwater Horizon killed 11 workers, and also triggered an environment spill.  The federal administration responded by ordering a moratorium on deepwater drilling in the area.  However, the moratorium has been lifted, and drilling in these waters is now back to close to the levels that it was at before the explosion.

It is very encouraging that deepwater drilling is back up again, because the oil and gas industry plays such a huge part in the local economies of the Gulf Coast states, especially Texas.  However, offshore companies also need to make sure that their aggressive deepwater drilling efforts do not compromise worker safety.

The offshore injury lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers represent offshore oil and gas rig workers who have been injured in accidents in the Gulf of Mexico.

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