The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

12,000 Feet Under the Sea

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted August 14, 2009

Yesterday, Chevron U.S.A. Inc. announced that the Discoverer Clear Leader--an ultra-deepwater drillship newly built to Chevron's specifications--has begun work in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico, allowing Chevron to expand its search for new domestic sources of energy.

drill ship.jpg

The state-of-the-art vessel is capable of drilling wells in 12,000 feet (3,650 meters) of water to a total depth of 40,000 feet (12,200 meters), surpassing the limits of previous technology. Chevron is one of the top lease holders and producers in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The company holds the current world water-depth drilling record of 10,011 feet (3,051 meters) of water in the Gulf.

Watch the ultra-deepwater drilling animation, and station-keeping animation showing how satellite signals and acoustic beacons on the sea floor help keep the drillship on location.


Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.