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Oil Underwater
Photograph by Sarah Leen

One hundred twenty miles (200 kilometers) off the Louisiana coast, the drill ship Discoverer Enterprise prepares for production to begin at BP's Thunder Horse oil field in 2005. As six giant thrusters hold the ship in place, its crew punches wells into the seabed 7,000 feet (2,000 meters) below. With an estimated one billion barrels of crude, this field could represent the biggest discovery yet in the Gulf of Mexico. Developments in offshore drilling have allowed oil companies to work in deeper and deeper waters. The new world record—at 10,011 feet (3,050 meters)—was set in the Gulf in November 2003.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Nikon F100
Film Type: Fujichrome Velvia 50
Lens: Nikkor 55mm
Speed and F-Stop: Unrecorded
Weather Conditions: Hazy and bright
Time of Day:
Mid-morning
Lighting Techniques: Available light
Special Equipment or Comments: This photograph was taken from a helicopter with the door removed. (Read Leen's Field Notes for more about this image.)


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