There has been a lot of talk about how shale drilling is the game-changing energy event for both the U.S. and the world. But this train of thought does injustice to another fast-moving oil space: offshore drilling. In the past decade, more than 41% of all newly discovered oil has been found in ultra-deepwater regions, outpacing both onshore and near-shore finds. Also, with big finds in areas like the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Brazil, and Africa, there is still a lot of development that will help to drive the industry.
Of course, exploration of ultra-deepwater can be both expensive and risky. Just ask a company like Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A), which has dumped more than $5 billion into looking for oil off the shores of Alaska only to come up with nothing. Rather than worrying about whether oil gets found, investors should look at the companies, such as rig companies, that make money offshore regardless of whether oil is found. Rig fleets are set to explode worldwide in the next couple of years, and some players are getting ready. Tune into the video below where Fool contributor Tyler Crowe looks at a couple of rig companies gearing up for the offshore boom.