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Prior to 1956 offshore wildcat drilling was conducted from fixed platforms or mobile platforms, all of which took their support from the sea floor. Since that time the necessity to work in water depths of 100 feet or more, and the need for cheaper offshore drilling methods in order to make offshore oil competitive in today's market, has led to the development of heavy floating drilling equipment. Up to this time, this type of equipment has been operated in up to 360 feet of water in the open sea. Some of the special features of design of this type of equipment will be shown by slides.
Recently, an engineering study has been completed on the adaption of this type of equipment for very deep water (12,000-15,000 feet) operation. Some of the design problems which have been developed are reviewed.
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