Major oil companies invest huge sums of money on geological surveys to estimate the quantum of oil present under the seabed. Once these surveys indicate a positive result, semi-submersibles or drillships are sent to conduct the first few rounds of drilling. If these prove to be fruitful and show excellent potential, a permanent structure may be built to proceed with the drilling operations. This is called a platform drill.
A platform drill will not only extract the oil from the seabed but also pump it via pipelines to an onshore destination. Alternatively, oil could be pumped into ‘export’ tankers, which then transport the oil to the shore
The main difference between a platform and the other vessels mentioned above is that it cannot be moved. It is a permanent fixture on the ocean. It is also extremely stable and secure since it is not depending on legs, ballasts or anchors to remain stationary. Oil companies only resort to drilling platforms when they are absolutely certain that the potential benefits of the oil well are excellent.
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