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Oil Rig Futures

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There are now some 6,500 offshore oil and gas installations worldwide, about 4,000 of which are in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico produces 30 percent of all U.S. oil output, and worldwide offshore drilling represents 10 percent of world’s oil supply.  Worldwide offshore drilling from 2005 to 2008 has grown by 67 percent.  Brazil has discovered an oil field off their shores, which rivals the total oil reserves of Nigeria.  They plan on implementing one of the world’s largest engineering projects to drill for that oil.  The threat of future spills from an off shore rig, according to the oil industry, is as probable as a plane going down.  That oil rigs in general, are too secure for it to happen with any predictability.  Unfortunately, the Gulf of Mexico spill has now become this country’s largest oil disaster eclipsing Exxon Valdez.  Oil rigs are floating cities that have high levels of risk with them.  Not just in extracting the oil, but for the workers who keep them going.  Rigs can be two football fields big with over 130 people working them on any given day.  They are dangerous places to work, but for those who work it, it can be a very lucrative occupation.  These rigs can drill up to 30,000 feet, or about 6 miles into the earth’s crust.  The BP spill has shifted our attention to the safety of these rigs, and to the environments they operate in.  Yesterday, President Obama re-issued his moratorium on future drilling, until they can review the data from this spill, and enact new safety measures to try to prevent this from happening again.  The question that needs to be addressed, is can we ever prevent this from happening again?  What safety measures need to be in place to prevent this type of disaster?  Until these questions can be answered, we need to stop future oil rigs from being built, and find new preventative measures to keep the other 4,000 from becoming the next BP spill.

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