The Deepwater Horizon spill three years ago put much of the exploration and production industry on alert that if another incident like this happened ever again, companies should be ready to pay a hefty price. What's surprising about the most recent incident in the Gulf is that it has gotten so little attention from the media.If anything, Hercules Offshore (UNKNOWN: HERO.DL ) should be letting a big sigh of relief for two reasons: nobody was killed or seriously injured in the rig explosion, and the well was drilling for natural gas.
So far, BP (NYSE: BP ) alone has forked up over $23 billion for the Deepwater Horizon spill. All of Hercules' assets total to about $2 billion. So had this rig been drilling for oil, it is very likely that both Hercules and private company Walter Oil & Gas, the operator of the rig, would not have been able to survive the cleanup costs. Tune into the video below, where Fool.com contributor Tyler Crowe explains why a natural gas spill is not as disastrous for Hercules, and what we can expect from the company in the future.
Rig explosions and environmental disasters are some of the risks that oil and gas companies face each day, and as we have seen with the Deepwater Horizon, it can take years for a company's shares to rebound. Fortunately, there is another way to play the energy space without the fear of a spill hanging over your portfolio. We at the Motley Fool have put together a detailed analysis on one behind-the-scenes energy giant that will help you avoid those pesky spill problems in our the special report: "The Only Energy Stock You'll Ever Need." Simply click here to access your report -- it's totally free.