Fun offshore-oil-drilling fact of the day

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Almost every recounting of the Great Santa Barbara Oil Spill of 1969 mentions that it was on (or under) Union Oil’s Platform A that the blowout occurred. But hardly anyone ever mentions that, a few weeks after the leak was fixed, Platform A was put into service for the first time, and has been pumping oil ever since.

The folks at the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf Region of the Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service tell me that Platform A, now operated by a privately held company called Dos Cuadras Offshore Resources, has produced about 100 million barrels of oil (that’s five days worth of U.S. oil consumption) and 52 billion cubic feet of natural gas (just under a day’s worth of U.S. consumption, if I’ve got my millions and billions straight) over the past 39 years. Current daily production is 1,000 barrels of oil and two million cubic feet of natural gas.

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