An offshore platform, often referred to as an oil platform or oil rig, is a large structure used to house workers and machinery needed to drill wells in the ocean bed, extract oil and/or natural gas, process the produced fluids, and ship them to shore, but have some critical challenges that should not be underestimated.
Depending on the circumstances, the platform may be fixed to the ocean floor, may consist of an artificial island, or may float
An increasing portion of oil and gas production is coming from fields. Advanced technologies now permit production from deepwater fields and from marginal fields. In parallel, platform technologies are evolving from fixed platforms suited for shallow waters, to semi-submersible platforms (TLP, SPAR) and to Floating Production Units (FPU, FPSO). The latter reduce project lead-time, have higher performance flexibility, and may be moved from a depleted field to a new field, thus greatly reducing investments