Shell Deepwater Expert Points to Flaws in BP’s Well Design

At a recent presentation at the Aspen Ideas Festival, one of Shell’s experts on deepwater drilling suggested that flaws in the design of BP’s Macondo well were likely responsible for the blowout that led to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This reinforces the results of a recent Congressional investigation that criticized BP’s use of a “long string” system rather than a safer, but more expensive “liner-tieback” approach. Read this article to view the presentation.

Oil Industry Plans Disaster Response System for Future Spills

The Wall Street journal has reported that Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, and ConocoPhillips are planning to announce the formation of a joint venture to design, build, and operate a rapid response system to address the impact of a future oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The move by the oil majors is an attempt to structure a private sector plan that will mitigate concerns regarding lax safety standards that may have contributed to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

A Closer Look at Noble Corporation’s Q2 Results

Noble Corporation recently announced second quarter 2010 earnings of $218 million, or $0.85 per share. The results were negatively impacted by a combination of lower utilization for the overall fleet and sharply lower average dayrates. As a result, contract drilling revenues dropped to $687.5 million for the second quarter compared to $808.6 million for the first quarter. Second quarter 2009 contract drilling revenues were $868.2 million. In this article, we take a closer look at Noble’s results.

Should Regulators Require Preemptive Relief Wells?

Although the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico has been reduced to a trickle based on successful attempts to finally cap the well, the permanent solution to the crisis will only arrive upon completion of the relief wells that BP is currently drilling. The company expects the relief well to permanently end the flow of oil by mid-August. Given the fact that relief wells represent the most certain way to kill a troubled well, should oil exploration firms be required to preemptively drill relief wells along with exploration wells?

Brazil Pushes Technical Limits in Deepwater Oil Exploration

Brazil is aggressively pursuing deepwater oil discoveries and recently began production on the country’s first commercial deep sea platform. Brazil’s deepwater wells are typically deeper than wells in the Gulf of Mexico and entail more technical difficulties. The Financial Times published an article today detailing some of the risks that the country is trying to manage in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Read this article for more information.

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