High-pressure sediments in which oil and gas are generated and accumulate in traps are proven in many operating areas along the entire West African margin. Although classic areas for high pressure are found in Tertiary deltas, such as the Niger Delta, other types of basins in which young clastic sediments have accumulated also create the environment for high pressure and drilling challenges. The BP Macondo oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has highlighted the technical challenge of drilling for oil in deep water, and the high pressures there added complexity to the control incident and the high volumes of fluids which blew out to the seabed.

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