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offshore drilling

The operation of oil wells on the continental shelf, sometimes in water hundreds of feet deep.

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Note

Public debate about offshore drilling concentrates on the possibility that large oil spills will occur, with subsequent damage to the coastal environment.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.