The oil industry is essentially the most demanding infrastructure today, with hundreds of other industries depending on the main or by-products the oil industry produces for these companies’ survival. Thankfully, technological advancements over the past century or so have moved in leaps and bounds, allowing oil drilling to remain one of the most efficient ways to gather fossil fuel.
Offshore oil drilling has been around since the 1950s, when the oil industry found that there are more product to be produced near the shore. So instead of building more oil drill and drawworks rigs on wharfs, they opted to use remotely operated vehicles or ROVs to patrol the world’s underwater surface for oil to dig up.
Another innovation is what’s known as horizontal drilling that starts out as a vertical well that eventually flips on its side within the reservoir rock, exposing more open hole to the oil. This allows for a more efficient recovery of oil or even natural gas, as it needs fewer wells to be built and less disturbance on the surface.
Another military-inspired innovation in the oil industry (the ROVs were the first) is the use of radars or sonic technology to inspect the ocean’s surface for potential sources of rich oil. In the past, looking for dig sites relies mostly on a hit-and-miss technique that could be quite costly should it prove the latter.