Offshore Drilling

There are 7 basic types of offshore drilling operations.

  1. Floating Production System: These are various kinds of vessels divided into four subcategories: FPSO, FSO, FDPSO, and FSRU. These Acronyms are as follows: Floating Drilling Production Storage Offloading.
  2. Tension Leg Platforms (TLPs): These platforms are secured to the sea floor with huge cables.
  3. Spar Platforms: These have a large cylinder core that descends from the surface down to the sea floor. Designed for drilling projects that exceed 10,000 feet.
  4. Sub-Sea Production Systems: Wells are drilled and then “wellheads” are placed and controlled remotely with no surface platform needed. Oil is transported through underwater pipelines directly to production sites.
  5. Sea Star (SSTAR): A smaller proprietary TLP for shallower depths.
  6. Compliant Tower (CT): Fixed to the seabed, but “jackets” are broken up into sections allowing it to sway with the wind and waves.
  7. Fixed Platform (FP): Single “jacket” (steel structure which extends from sea floor to surface) with limited depth.
Offshore drilling
Credit: Illustration by Lisa Reed

 Oil Tankers are the backbone of the oil and natural gas industry. 

Oil tankers are absolutely essential in the global reach of petroleum. There are two broad categories of vessels: crude tankers and product tankers. Crude tankers take the raw petroleum that is pulled from the earth and transport it to processing plants. Product tankers then transport the processed oil that is ready for distribution.

When most people think of oil tankers they probably think of what are referred to as “supertankers”.

In the graphic below, the VLCC and ULCC are classified as “supertankers”.

offshore drilling
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