Roger Ebert reports that there are more than 5,000 oil platforms around the world.
And according to the Christian Science Monitor, a bunch of them are in the Gulf of Mexico:
“Currently, the number of US structures in the Gulf is roughly 4,000, with 819 manned platforms. And those numbers are only expected to grow, says Caryl Fagot, a spokeswoman for the federal Minerals Management Service (MMS), which regulates the oil industry in federal waters.”
That was in 2005, before Hurricane Katrina and obviously before the BP deep-water well disaster.
Proponents were crowing about the incredible technology that would allow deep-water drilling in the Gulf. The number of deep-water exploratory wells in the Gulf went from 74 in 2003 to 94 in 2004.
Given our thirst for fuel, there isn’t much reason to believe the numbers have dropped in the years since.
And now BP hopes that dumping a big pile of mud on the well will plug it.
We have the technology.