Pétrole: de plus en plus profond

Economist BP, A big British oil company, announced a round of efficiency measures and cost cuts on Tuesday March 2nd aimed at increasing annual profits by $3 billion over the next few of years. But BP and the world’s other big oil companies face similar problems when it comes to boosting profits. Few big new oil fields that are easy to reach and cheap to exploit have been discovered in recent years. This has driven firms to seek oil ever deeper below the sea. In 1947, Kerr-McGee built the world’s first offshore oil well that was completely out of sight of land, drilling 4.6 metres into the seabed off the coast of Louisiana. This year Shell’s 22,000-tonne Perdido rig is set to begin operation. Standing nearly as tall as the Eiffel Tower, it is chained to the seabed 2.4km metres below and is capable of extracting oil at a maximum depth of 2.9km.

Perdido Perdido is in a water depth of some 2,380 metres First production from Perdido is expected in early 2010.

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