Big oil firms pump up for disaster.
Shell Oil Co.'s "Mars" platform in the Gulf of Mexico had been through hurricanes, but nothing had prepared it for Hurricane Katrina last year. For four hours, the platform was lashed by 175 mile-per-hour winds and slapped by 80-foot waves. The platform's tall drilling rig, which looks like a bad copy of the Eiffel Tower, toppled over, and the rig's 1,000-ton substructure was ripped free, lifted into the air and dropped onto the platform. Last month, Shell finished repairing the hurricane damage to the platform - just in time for a new hurricane season.