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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've finally come to the conclusion that what I don't know about the oil and gas industry in the Gulf can fill a rather large book. But there are a few questions that stand out:

1. For years, I've been seeing Semi-submersible rigs and drill ships work the deep water
ledges off the steps and around the double nipple, but never see any permanent
production rigs (like Mars) take their place. Surely these are not all "dry holes!" Are
all these capped wells set aside for future production, or is the oil being extracted in
some way I don't know about?

2. Why no drilling south of the Panhandle? There was 20-or-so years ago. Is there no oil
there?

3. I know that the oil and gas extracted is sent back to shore via pipeline. Are these lines buried, or just laying on the bottom? Why don't I ever see them on my sounder?

4. How many holes can a production rig work, and how far from the rig can these holes be located?

I have more questions, but this gives me a good start.
 

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Offshore drilling in Florida has, for years, been an 'on again', 'off again' affair. 2006 Congress authorized drilling 125 miles south of the Panhandle and Charlie Christ signed off when he got assurances of no drilling any closer. The military like Eglin and NAS have resisted somewhat due to derrick heights vs. aircraft and practice ranges. The oil is out there.

Then, you have a Deepwater Horizon event and the people of Florida turn against drilling again. Some drilling going on in the Everglades is being halted because of threats to the aquifers due to fracking methods. We'll have to see what the future holds.

Question 2: Pipelines are just laying on the bottom, out deep, though some of them can get sanded or silted in at certain spots. If you have been unable to pick up pipelines like Gulfstream, between Mobile and Tampa, you might want to look into a different transducer; however, in places it is in extremely deep water but it is a 36" and 42" line. Three to 3 1/2 feet of relief.

Modern, deepwater, Drill Ships are generally for exploratory wells. Drill hit/miss, move to the next hole. I don't think there is a limit on how many holes one production rig can handle. It's the volume of fluid and then that platform can be expanded or paired.
 

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Most of the wells are capped off to be produced later, the Olympus platform is sitting on 24 wells. I know this because I was part of the drilling. The 24 wells are in a 100x100 foot square. We drilled a well that is 3 miles from Olympus that fuels it. I mention Olympus because you mentioned Mars. The ship that I am on is completing one and starting another in the same field in a few months.I do not have all the answers for you but if you have anymore I can get the answers when I get back to work next week.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm just curious as to why we have no permanent (or semi-permanent) production rigs out where all this drilling has been going on for years in the deep water area south of Ram Powell. Drill rigs keep showing up, but then they are gone with no production rigs within 20 miles. In fact, Deep Water Horizon was in the process of capping a strike when she went up.

Just seems strange to me to invest all that money finding the stuff, and then not doing anything to get a return on the investment.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Of course I ask these questions purely for selfish fishing reasons. Though I have had a boat in Destin for 30 years, when it comes to serious tuna fishing, we head to Venice and their copious deep water oil rigs. If they are not on one rig, we head to another, then another, and another -- until we find them!

I'd kinda like to eventually find a similar situation off Alabama.
 
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