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How Oil Drilling Works

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People in the U.S. use oil every day. Powering cars, heating homes, and providing electricity are just a few examples of how we use oil fuels in our daily life. Where would we be if we woke up tomorrow and couldn't fly because there was no fuel, or products containing plastic were taken off the market? "In fact, oil is a part of everyday items such as crayons, bubble gum, and deodorant (Mooney 19). Oil is the number one source of energy in the U.S. today. However, the U.S. imports 140 billion worth of its oil supply every day from unstable regions such as Canada and Mexico (news desk). This makes our addiction to oil an even more dangerous game. Dependence on foreign oil, also leaves the U.S. vulnerable to fluctuations in global supply and demand, which in turn could lead to higher prices (Mooney 22). As the future approaches and our dependency on oil is set to increase, a closer look at the environmental, economic, and socio-political risks is demanded and identifying alternative sources of energy is urgent. Oil is made from the remains of plants and animals that died millions of years ago. As time goes by, these remains are gradually buried deep underground, beneath layers of rock and under oceans and seas. When heat and pressure are applied, the carbon in the plant and animal remains changes into hydrocarbons, which is the main ingredient of crude oil. To find oil, scientists study rock samples from the earth in a particular area. Once a promising site has been found, a well is drilled and a pump is placed over it. Steam is forced down the well, which pushes the oil up into the first well. Once the oil is removed from the earth, it is transported to a refinery. Some research suggests people subjected to these chemical... ... middle of paper ... ... 30 July 2010. Web. 5 March 2014. . "Impacts of Offshore Drilling." 2012. Web. 4 March 2014. . Krauss, Clifford. "U.S. Agrees to Allow BP Back Into Gulf Waters to Seek Oil." New York: New York Times, 14 March 2014. Web. 10 March 2014. . Marcovitz, Hal. Can Renewable Energy Replace Fossil Fuels? San Diego: Reference Point Press, Inc., 2011. Print. Mooney, Carla. Oil Spills and Offshore Drilling. San Diego: Reference Point Press, Inc., 2011. Print. 5 March 2014. Rae, Alison. Oil, Plastic, and Power. Mankato: Evans Publishing Group, 2010. Print.