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Offshore Oil Drilling Essay

1677 words - 7 pages

The existence of crude oil has been known for centuries, and throughout time the growing demand for the resource has driven the exploration, and production to its highest expansion. The Earths' natural reserve of crude oil is finite; it is not a renewable resource. Corn and Copeland stated that based on survey studies one-half of the remaining undiscovered crude oil and natural gas lie under the oceans and seas. According to the book "Public Reaction to Offshore Oil", the demand for crude oil is still increasing and there is no doubt, the resource is depleting and in the future, the world's production will be forced to start declining. Even though water bodies are extremely sensitive ecosystem, as demand for petroleum keeps rising and technological innovations developed offshore drilling introduced to satisfy the rising demand (Corn, and Copeland). There is no doubt oil-drilling, in general, and offshore drilling, in particular, is playing a great role in reaching the ongoing demand for the resource, which immensely benefit our energy and industrial craving. However, this resource exploitation is also costing in ecosystem degradation, environmental pollution, and social health imbalance. Does the existing trend of exponential expansion of offshore oil-drilling exploration and production following the path towards sustainable economic and environmental development?
Based on the article "Offshore Drilling", the term offshore drilling refers to both exploration and final producing of wells accessing underwater resource reservoirs of oil and gas deposits. The first offshore drilling was done on the Pacific Ocean off the shores of Summerland, California, Southeast of Santa Barbara, in 1898. The technological breakthrough that facilitated large-scale exploration came in 1933 when the Texas Company (later Texaco) introduced the "submersible" drilling barge allowing companies to drill deeper ("Public Reaction to Offshore Oil").This discovery transformed the petroleum industry, in the United States and throughout the world.
As offshore drilling efforts continued to expand, the offshore industry found itself in deeper and more hostile waters, moreover natural phenomena such as hurricanes and earthquakes threaten exploration and production facilities. Compelled by harsh conditions and demands for environmental protection for safety, offshore drilling relies on continuous innovations in technology, management systems, and legal regulations ("Public Reaction to Offshore Oil"). According to the article "Public Reaction to Offshore Oil," though the great benefit of petroleum in industrial and technological progress is undeniable; pushing the limits of the ecosystems and technology increases probable contingencies and failures, which can result in ecological harm ranging from catastrophic blowouts to more subtle forms of degradation.
Petroleum, in one form or another, has been used for centuries. According to Mabro, the invention of the combustion engine...

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