Chevron is leading the development of new technologies to tap the oil that lies deep beneath the ocean floor. Navigating uncertain weather conditions, freezing water and crushing pressure, deepwater drilling is one of the most technologically challenging ways of finding and extracting oil.
Discover Deepwater Drilling
Chevron has pushed the limits of technology in the deepwater of the Gulf of Mexico to find oil beneath 7,000 feet of water and more than 20,000 feet of earth.
Buoyant sidings keep the rig afloat. Rigs must be large in order to float the heavy weight of well and drilling equipment.
The 5-mile-long drill pipe is made up of hundreds of interlocking 90-foot sections of steel.
The drill is encased in steel pipes that are only 36 inches wide at the seafloor. It must navigate treacherous pressure zones and freezing water.
The drill hits home, finding the sweet spot of oil trapped in porous rock over 5 miles below sea level.
The initial well test draws boiling-hot oil through steel tubing up to the drilling rig.
The original drilling rig is replaced by a production platform. Oil production often starts 6 to 10 years after oil is first discovered.
Finding and delivering oil from a single deepwater field requires a multi-billion-dollar investment and boundless energy from thousands of workers.
Look Beneath the Surface
Life in One of the World's Last Unexplored Frontiers
On the surface, Chevron's deep-sea platforms house people and equipment to tap into rich oil deposits below the seafloor. They also offer scientists a rare glimpse into deep-sea life. Meanwhile, thousands of feet below the surface, platforms develop into thriving marine habitats that benefit the area's sea creatures long after an oil well is closed
The world of deep water is dark as coal, cold as slush, and teeming with life – such as this 2-foot-long octopod.
Deepwater habitats – although dark and freezing cold – can be surprisingly diverse, housing thousands of species.
A remotely operated underwater rover collects video footage, stills and sediment samples.
Chevron scientists include marine biologists, wetlands ecologists and environmental specialists, among others.
Chevron's underwater rovers give scientists around the world a view of seldom-seen animals in their natural habitat, such as this chimaera.
Scientists are discovering a wide diversity of creatures in the ocean's depths. Few of these Richardson's Rays have ever been sighted.
The deeper the water, the less we know about its inhabitants. Some deepwater animals, such as these, are new discoveries.
Rovers are the "eyes" and "hands" of a drilling operation. They also advance scientific understanding of deepwater ecosystems.
Deepwater temperatures can dip below freezing, though the water doesn't freeze due to high pressure and salinity.
Chevron's deepwater rovers have collected footage of more than 2,000 species, including some never before seen beyond 5,000 feet.
Platforms and wellheads can form artificial reefs, offering shelter, food and breeding habitats for a wide variety of marine organisms