In disaster’s wake, BP doubles down on deepwater despite surging shale

By Jessica Resnick-Ault | THUNDER HORSE OIL PLATFORM, GULF OF MEXICO About 300 BP workers commute 150 miles here by helicopter, from the Louisiana coast to a deep-sea drilling platform that can produce more oil in a day than a West Texas rig can pump in a year. On the deck of Thunder Horse, they work two-week shifts, drink seawater from a desalination plant, and eat ribs and chicken ferried in by boat. On the ocean floor, robots provide remote eyes and arms as drills extract up to 265,000 barrels per day. “There’s a whole city below us,” said Jim Pearl, Marine Team Leader on the platform. This is just one of the four Gulf of Mexico platforms on which BP has staked its future in U.S. oil production. Seven years after its Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, BP is betting tens of billions of dollars on the prospect that it can slash the costs of offshore drilling by half or more – just as shale oil producers have done onshore. The firm says it can do that while it continues to pay an estimated $61 billion in total costs and damages from the worst spill in history –

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Source: CTRM Center

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