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Offshore Drilling & Extraction

Offshore oil production involves exploring and extracting petroleum from reserves in the seabed. Offshore oil rig platforms are massive, permanent structures, with the Berkut Oil Rig being the biggest in the world.

Before oil extraction begins, seismic surveys are conducted. These are like ultrasounds that allow engineers to map geological structures beneath the ocean floor and locate petroleum reserves.

Key fact: The Berkut Oil Rig weighs 200,000 tons and extracts around 4.5 million tons of oil per year

During the exploration stage of offshore oil production, mobile drilling units drill temporary wells over a potential deposit to gain a core sample. This determines whether the oil is of sufficient quality and economic quantity to warrant further action.

If the reserve is valuable, the extraction begins. Offshore drilling is the process of extracting petroleum from underwater reserves using a series of production wells. These are sunk into the seabed at an angle, giving them a greater reach.

Some offshore platforms, like the Appomattox Oil Rig, are semi-submersible so that they can drill wells in water depths greater than 400ft, which are inaccessible to traditional jack-up rigs.


  • Increases oil production

  • Reduces oil-related costs for consumers

  • Creates unique habitat for ocean life

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