Oil spills and drilling has an effect on our environment. It’s estimated that since humans have first started drilling into the earth, we have drilled over 1700 holes into the ocean floor (Normile & Kerr 2003). Oil drilling can lead to oil deposits accumulating beneath thick layers of salt. Drilling at ~4,000m deep involves extreme conditions; the oil itself may be around 200oC, while the temperature of the ocean floor might be just above freezing. This would cause the pipe to burst, which has a high probability of leading to oil being spilled.
As the Office of Response and Restoration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Department of Commerce state, “Oil that spills into rivers, bays, and the ocean are caused by accidents involving tankers, barges, pipelines, refineries, and storage facilities. Spills can be caused by people making mistakes or being careless, equipment breaking down, and deliberate acts by terrorists, countries at war, vandals, or illegal dumpers ” (response.restoration.noaa.gov). Humans are responsible for most of these things happening, which takes a rather large toll on the environment and wildlife. Oil spills are a problem because the extremely large amounts of oil kills helpless animals and plants while damaging fragile ecosystems, clean-up efforts take decades to complete, and they cause economic stress. However, even though there are several problems surrounding oil spills, there are solutions to help clean them up after they take place.
“Industry Statistics.” Oklahoma’s Oil & Natural Gas Priducers & Royalty Owners. OERB. OERB, 2011. Web. 13 Oct. 2011. .
On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil platform exploded and caused the largest marine oil spill in history. The platform sank about 5,000 feet underwater. The BP oil spill poured 4.2 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. These oil spills are largely compared but were cause by completely different events. They had similar effects/damage, however.
The Oil Spill The BP oil spill happened off the United States coast in the Gulf of Mexico and is considered the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. After the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded and sunk it continued to leak oil for 87 days until it was capped, which resulted in an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil leaking into the ocean. The Deep Water Horizon was a sem... ... middle of paper ... .... Retrieved 15 November 2013. Dermansky, Julie (20 April 2013). "Three Years After the BP Spill, Tar Balls and Oil Sheen Blight Gulf Coast".
In addition, due to bad practices, service trucks needed to maintain and clean oil tankers often returned contamined. Other tankers pump oil into the sea as waste. Another form of sea oil pollution comes from gas well drilling and oil in coastal waters and underwater pipes leak. Many of these spills occur in the sea near the coast, which is where naturally inhabit a number of aquatic species and sub-aquatic of all kinds, among which are counted seabirds. One of the most disastrous spill was the one that occurred off the coast of Vancouver, Canada, where the ship crashed and Nestucca spilled 800,000 liters of oil and killed some 40,000 seabirds .Another maj... ... middle of paper ... ... oil and natural gas is acid rain, in this case not by the production of oxides of sulfur, as in the case of coal, but primarily for the production of nitrogen oxides.
About 1070 kilometers of coastline were contaminated. Over 47 thousand personnel were deployed, 1.4 million barrels of liquid waste collected, and $40 billion spent on cleanup. Aerial photo taken in Gulf of Mexico more than 50 miles southeast of Louisiana showing the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burning after a deadly blowout of an oil well. Credit: Gerald Herbert The Gulf of Mexico contains commercially important aquatic life, including blue crabs, squid, shrimp, and fish. Toxins in the oil can kill these species or cause injuries such as genetic damage, disease, cancer, and reproductive and immune system impairment.