Depends on your definition of deep water. In 1975 Shell made the first discovery at more than 1000 ft water depth, generally considered to be “deep water” (more than 5000 ft is “ultra deep”).
The first semisubmersible drilling rig was made by accident (as a result for need as they started to drill into deeper and deeper water) in 1961. Blue Water Rig No.1 was owned and operated by Blue Water Drilling Company for Shell Oil Company.
By 1947, rigs had begun to be built in 20 ft deep water and the depth grew deeper and deeper from that point on.
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