What's Ahead - Perspective from TWA’s editor-in-chief, Todd Willis.
“Deep water” is an ever-evolving term in our industry. The earliest offshore wells, in the early 1900s, were drilled much like land wells, with the rig simply suspended above the water on a pier built to extend from the shoreline. Water depths for these earliest wells were usually no more than 20 feet. Compare that to today’s state-of-the-art drillships, such as Transocean’s Discoverer Deep Seas, that are capable of drilling in 12,000 feet of water. What will be the definition of deepwater drilling 20 years from now, considering that the ocean’s deepest known point, the Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean at the southern end of the Mariana Trench, is estimated to be approximately 36,000 feet below sea level?