An oil rig is a device used to drill oil, and it comes in both land (drilling rig) and offshore (oil rig platform) types. Oil rig workers use the oil instrument to find oil on land or at sea in order to sell the product to consumers for diesel fuel. Offshore drilling requires the use of an oil rig platform that can stay fixed or float in the Gulf. Oil rigs can be used to supply oil for car drivers; however, they can also cause destruction when fire meets oil chemicals. Lives are placed in the path of danger, and destruction is the result. This makes oil rigs objects of both love and hate, simultaneously.

Learning how oil rigs work is important to understanding what they are. There are five components to oil rigs:

• Wellhead

• Production Separator

• Gas Compressor

• Water Injection Pump

• Main Oil Line

The wellhead is a component of oil rigs that sits on the top of the rig in order to monitor and control the oil as it comes out of the oil well. Wellheads are also known for ensuring a safe oil flow from the well so that no major oil spill takes place. The problem with the oil rig in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is that the wellhead was not on the oil rig properly and the gauge within the wellhead did not operate. Many said that the major oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico was due to the defective nature of the blowout preventer, which did not work on the day in question.

The Production Separator does what the name suggests – it “separates” oil, water, and gas into their individual sections so that there is no mingling to create a dangerous reaction. This is another in-built survival mechanism of an oil rig that is meant to prevent an explosion from occurring due an oil drilling event. The gas compressor makes gas easy to transport through the pipes of an oil rig (what are known collectively as the main oil line). The Water Injection Pump sends water into a well where the oil has been eliminated. The water makes it easier to pump the oil into a well and out when needed without having the oil stick in the insides of the oil rig (thus causing backward explosion).

The oil rig explosion of 2010 was caused by the defective nature of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig as well as the lack of knowledge by BP engineers. Had BP not been so consumed with getting the project over and done with to save money, the British oil giant would have saved both humanity and the environment.


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