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At 9,356 feet, Shell’s New Offshore Oil Well Is the Deepest in the World

Michael Kanellos

December 2, 2008 at 2:18 PM

Shell has drilled an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico that’s 1.77 miles deep and it will follow up with an even deeper one.

The oil giant announced it has drilled a well in the Silvertip field of the Perdido development that extends 9,356 feet below the surface and will later drill a 9,627-foot well in the same area. That handily beats the old record, which stood at 6,950 feet.

In all, the Perdido development will have 35 wells and pump 130,000 barrels a day around the turn of the decade.

So what’s that have to do with greentech? It’s just a reminder that the fossil fuel crowd isn’t standing still. Instead, oil producers are exploiting technology and engineering to extend their traditional businesses. As a result, ethanol and biodiesel manufacturers will remain locked in tight competition to keep production prices down. It’s going to be interesting. Ethanol was a growing industry in the 1970s until gas prices undercut it in the ’80s. Peak oil is inevitable, but the battle will probably go on for quite some time.

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