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Expert View

Need for Engineering Solutions to Problems Associated With Offshore Oil and Gas Production

[+] Author and Article Information
Kaufui Vincent Wong

Department of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
University of Miami,
Coral Gables, FL 33146

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received March 13, 2014; final manuscript received April 11, 2014; published online May 13, 2014. Editor: Hameed Metghalchi.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 136(3), 034702 (May 13, 2014) (3 pages) Paper No: JERT-14-1076; doi: 10.1115/1.4027573 History: Received March 13, 2014; Revised April 11, 2014

There has been an increase in oil spill research and development, especially after the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico. However, the public resources seem to be concentrated in the life sciences, rather than in engineering. The effect of oil on seaweeds and the effect of spilled oil on seabirds, for instance, seem to take precedence in government research funding, rather than engineering issues. If engineering preventive procedures and equipment are in place, then these adverse effects can be viewed as secondary. Offshore oil and gas production is an engineering endeavor, and it makes sense to expand resources in key aspects of engineering to allow for safer practices with regard to this endeavor. Offshore oil production is principally done by public companies, so it is logical that the government requires certain safety and operational standards with regard to permitting related offshore activities. It should follow that high governmental safety rules be set, and that production companies be aided by science and technology research that has been completed. A second thrust is to fund research and development for up-to-date science and engineering to meet the challenges of deep water drilling, especially in the area of machinery and devices that would help in mitigating accidents in deep water.

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Oiled pelican rescued off Louisiana coast [17]

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