Now, one thing that makes me different from a lot of those interested in peak oil and alternatove energy is that I recognize that no matter what happens, we humans are going to extract every last bit of viable fossil carbon around the planet before we are done, including risky stuff like deep water oil.
There simply is no force that can prevent desperate humans from doing everything they can to get this stuff extracted. The military value of oil alone will force us to do it - even if the prices are way beyond what normal people can afford to pay, as we fight to the death for the earth's dwindling resources on a warming and overcrowded planet, the military will still want fuels for the perpetual war machine. So we will spend hundreds per barrel to extract the hardest oil, the stuff that is under very deep water, and buried very deep under the rock, rather like the oil in the Macondo well that is now puking it's toxic oily guts into the gulf.
To keep the war machines rolling.
(What I'd like to see, is that we humans extract it more slowly - that we learn to conserve and use the oil more efficiently, and give up ridiculous practices like using the fossil carbon to make and ship trinkets from China. Stretch the remaining fossil carbon out, reduce the carbon dioxide flowing into the atmosphere, and concentrate on building an energy system that doesn't make us so vulnerable to the oil kingdoms and fuel shortages and oil and climate insecurity.)
In any case, this article, tho it's a little old, describes in wonderful detail what happened on the drilling platform, how deep oil drilling works, and explains some of the risks involved. It's written by oil people, so it has inside info that you can't easily get. Read more »