Oil Drilling Essay

1597 words - 6 pages

Crude oil is black gold that has been even sought out even in the ancient times. The Chinese in the fourth century drilled 800 feet deep oil wells to burn the oil to produce salt. Oil has a long history. America’s has massive oil demands and off-shore drilling has become a temporary solution and scientist are trying to find alternative sources of energy that can last us a very long time. There are many disadvantages and hazards when it comes to offshore drilling. Theses disadvantages can affect the wildlife, animal population, marine environments, pollution and much more. With there being so many disadvantages for offshore drilling, why continue drilling?

Oil that is spilled in the ocean water can kill. When oil is spilled, oil floats on the surface of water because oil will not mix with water. The oil expands and a thin layer called a slick on the surface of the water. Oil then expands more to become a layer, called a sheen that is 0.01 mm thick. Ecosystems can become imbalanced and animals could die and we could be affected because our food sources would slowly diminish. "Over the past 50 years, humans have changed natural ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable period in human history," (Dr Lee) The amount of oil we can get by off shore drilling is not worth the cost if it means possible environmental damage.

Many animals are affected in different ways. Oil does serious damage to the bird’s feathers. The feathers are aligned in a certain way to keep the bird warm and waterproof. Birds apply natural oil on feathers to further keep them waterproof, which is called preening. When a bird comes into contact with crude oil, their feathers mat and separate which exposes the bird’s sensitive skin. Automatically, the bird begins to preen to try and get the oil off and in the processes; they ingest oil, damaging their internal organs. “The focus on preening overrides all other natural behaviors; including feeding and evading predators, making the bird vulnerable to secondary health problems such as severe weight loss, anemia and dehydration.” (IBRRC) The only ones that survive are the one that are rescued by rescue workers.

Oil suffocates fishes. If directly exposed to the oil, a mucous like film covers the body and gills. Crude oil has a toxic compound that is easily dissolved in fish tissue. One of the toxic compounds is Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH). Oil can cause abnormal development and deformities in fish larvae if they come in contact and can affect fish population. “Spills in rivers and streams disperse the oil by agitation and are similarly more toxic to fish.” (ehow)

Oil rigs use drilling mud or drilling fluid, which is a toxic lubricant that is used in the process of drilling deep boreholes that will be drilled for oil and gas extraction. “Historically, contaminated and dirty mud was dumped in open pits, allowing the natural environment to become polluted.” (Smith, 2010) One drilling platform...

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