Christening California's Oil Rigs- What Makes a Platform / by Amber Jackson

The Infrastructure of Offshore Oil and Gas Platforms

Offshore oil and gas operations utilize a variety of infrastructure that includes product transfer stations, support structures, piers, pipelines, and platforms. The platform employs a rig to extract oil from subsurface wells. The infrastructure of the offshore platform is comprised of the topsides (i.e., above-water structures), the jacket (i.e., legs and associated structural elements), and the well conductors.

The Name Game

The majority of California platforms get their names from a unique naming system wherein the coastline is divided up by letters, A through E.  Our first dive brought us to zone G, where we dove Gina and admired the neighboring platforms Gail and Grace. The creative genius behind which oil companies 'christen' their platforms, is in accordance to each platform's zone affiliation. On our second dive trip we dove right outside zone H, dotted by oil rigs Henry, Hogan, Habitat, Houchin and Hillhouse. Although Platforms A and C are outside of this naming system and may lack luster in their respective names, they certainly were not lacking in the beauty of their underwater habitat growth! This was a dive of particular interest to us as Platform A was the site of the infamous 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, a dark event we considered, as we glided along beams thickly covered in invertebrate life, a sign of hope.

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