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America's demand for energy is now growing at 2.5 percent a year, according to the Federal Energy Administration, and its dependence on foreign oil is increasing rapidly—from 26 percent before the 1973 oil embargo to 46 percent in February 1977. One important source of new oil and gas reserves lie off the coasts of the U.S. This offshore region, only about 2 percent of which has been opened for production, provided 16.4 percent of the nation's oil and 14 percent of its natural gas in 1975, and according to the predictions of the American Petroleum Institute by 1985 the yield could double.

In the near future, exploration and production will be extended from the principal sites of present offshore oil and gas reserves in the Gulf of Mexico and the offshore Southern California to the Gulf of Alaska and the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, where storm, seismic, and geological conditions are different. The projected increase in such oil and gas recovery from the U.S. outer continental shelf has intensified public and government concerns about conserving vital resources, protecting the environment, and safeguarding human life.

Verification of Fixed Offshore Oil and Gas Platforms: An Analysis of Need, Scope, and Alternative Verification Systems reviews the practices in the verification of the structural adequacy of fixed offshore oil and gas platforms—that is, the production facilities permanently fixed to the seabed by pilings, spread footings, and other means. This book also reviews the need for establishing a third-party verification procedure and if deemed necessary, how that procedure might operate. This report recommends that a third-party verification system should be implemented by the United States Geological Survey for future production platforms in all U.S. waters, and discusses essential elements for the system, with a description of how third-party verification might operate.

Suggested Citation

National Research Council and National Academy of Engineering. 1977. Verification of Fixed Offshore Oil and Gas Platforms: An Analysis of Need, Scope, and Alternative Verification Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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100 pages | 8.5 x 10 |  DOI:

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