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The Offshore Oil Business Is Gushing Again

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The $1.2 billion Deepwater Titan sat idle in a Singaporean shipyard for five years, looking like an abandoned cruise ship with a derrick attached to its deck. Soon this vessel that spans nearly three football fields will depart for the deepest waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where its crew will be able to drill 8 miles below the seafloor in search of oil for Chevron Corp.

The hunt for offshore petroleum is on again, fueled by a surge in global demand for energy, supply disruptions triggered by the war in Ukraine and crude prices that remain above prepandemic levels. Other giant rigs such as Titan that were dormant near the end of the last decade are also now operating in deep waters along the coast of Brazil, while rigs lacking propulsion are mining shallower waters in the Middle East after hitching rides to that part of the world on tugboats.

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