An oil platform, offshore platform, or (colloquially) oil rig is a large structure with facilities to drill wells, to extract and process oil and natural gas, or to temporarily store product until it can be brought to shore for refining and marketing. In many cases, the platform contains facilities to house the workforce as well.
Depending on the circumstances, the platform may be fixed to the ocean floor, may consist of an artificial island, or may float. Remote subsea wells may also be connected to a platform by flow lines and by umbilical connections. These sub-sea solutions may consist of one or more subsea wells, or of one or more manifold centers for multiple wells.
A typical oil production platform is self-sufficient in energy and water needs, housing electrical generation, water desalinates and all of the equipment necessary to process oil and gas such that it can be either delivered directly onshore by pipeline or to a floating platform or tanker loading facility, or both. Elements in the oil/gas production process include wellhead, production manifold, production separator, glycol process to dry gas, gas compressors, water injection pumps, oil/gas export metering and main oil line pumps.