Ask CBS News: How Many Offshore Rigs are There?

All this week in our ongoing "Ask CBS News" segment, we've answered your questions about the Gulf oil spill. Viewers can leave questions on "CBS Evening News" Anchor Katie Couric's Twitter page or the CBS News Facebook page.

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Special Section: Disaster in the Gulf

Tonight we answered another one of your questions.

A viewer asked: "How many more of these offshore rigs are drilling around our coastal waters? And how many do not meet safety regulations?"

CBS News Investigative Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson answered: We asked the Interior Department, and they said there are 3,500 drilling rigs and platforms, 79 of them deepwater wells. Just 62 inspectors nationwide so that works out to about an average of each inspector being responsible for 56 rigs. We don't know how many of them may not meet the regulations, but if the government thinks they're a big problem, they're supposed to shut those rigs down. We do know the Deepwater Horizon somehow slipped through.

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