Here is an interesting poster from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (one of the daughter regulatory arms of the Interior Department birthed from the now dead Minerals Management Service in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon blowout).
BSEE analysts have used inspection and accident incident reports from 2011 through 2014 to show that (surprise, surprise) a dangerous work place last year is also a dangerous workplace this year. Perhaps more interesting is the fact that our low-rig density region in the deeper offshore waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico have an aberrantly high number of accidents.
What can we take away from this? Offshore drilling is dangerous to be sure. But deep- and ultradeepwater drilling is manifestly different from the more common shallow water drilling efforts. Regarless if this is due to the inherent logistical difficulties of such deep drilling, the greater complexity and coordination that must be manifest, the relative naïveté of the operators in this new frontier, or the increased pressure for results and profit that follow in the wake of the intense capital outlays that are required to play in these worlds, it all amounts to greater risk and a more dangerous oil extraction endeavor.
See a webpage about this BSEE data here.
Note: there are no authors listed on the poster, but the program attributed the work to Allison Fischman of BSEE.
Here is that overall poster: