This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Debate Over Offshore Oil Drilling To Meed America's Oil Needs

1774 words - 7 pages

America must wean itself off of dependence on foreign oil, and one valid solution to this problem is offshore oil drilling and production. America’s economy is heavily based on petroleum, as though it is the nation’s blood; a necessity for survival. About 25% of oil produced in the U.S. comes from offshore rigs. Most of the U.S. coastline has been off limits for oil drilling since the early 1980s. Due to environmental concerns after an oil spill off the coast of California in 1969, an offshore drilling moratorium was imposed. Since then, the U.S. has amplified its energy consumption to where it uses nearly 25% of the world's oil. Meanwhile, the U.S. produces about 10% of the world's oil. That has made the U.S. heavily reliant on imported oil.
In September 2008, Congress allowed the ban on offshore drilling to expire. Supporters of offshore drilling say that it furthers the goal of U.S. energy independence. There is likely more oil offshore than the government estimates, because the technology for locating oil has improved since the ban was put in place. The oil is likely to be available sooner than expected because individual states have an interest in fostering the process.
Drilling for oil offshore can cost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per day. Therefore, oil companies like to be as certain as possible about the location of oil before they commit to drilling. One of the most effective methods they have of determining where oil is likely to be is through an acoustic survey, in which an exploratory ship fires sound waves into the water. Those waves bounce off underwater structures, such as rock formations, helping scientists to determine, from the echoes the waves create, whether there might be oil underneath.
When oil companies are sure there is oil in a particular location, they drill from ships and other structures into the underwater rock. They then pump fluid through pipelines into the drilled areas in order to extract materials that would further indicate the presence of oil. Once a company is certain that there is a sufficient amount of oil at a given location to make drilling worthwhile, it sets up a more permanent structure, or platform, from which to extract it. The oil that is pumped out is sent through pipelines back to shore. An offshore facility can pump oil from a field for decades.
Recently, oil companies have increased their search for oil in water deeper than 1,500 feet, which is classified as "deep water." While that is where the companies hope to find the largest untapped oil reserves, seeking out and extracting oil there presents unique challenges. For one thing, platforms in deep water cannot sit on legs connected to the sea floor the way they can in shallower areas, so other methods must be used to protect them from strong currents.
Exactly how much oil remains undiscovered off U.S. shores? The Department of the Interior estimates that there are 68 billion barrels of oil still undiscovered in areas where...

Find Another Essay On The Debate Over Offshore Oil Drilling to Meed America's Oil Needs

Keep Oil Drilling Essay

748 words - 3 pages The United States currently has 250 years of oil already drilled. Oil is a necessity to the world today. It is one of the most important natural resources on the planet. The benefits of oil drilling by far outweigh the negative benefits. Oil is used in many of the products that we use today. We must continue drilling for oil as it is a major natural resource that the United States can benefit from for many more years. Oil makes up

Oil drilling and Pollution Essay

1086 words - 5 pages time that the rules would be tightened, both have to do with Shell. Even though Shell drilled in the Chukchi Sea way back in the 1990’s, they got their drilling leases back in 2005, and then after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the rules only got tighter. Now, the Special rules for drilling in the Arctic are still being decided. The problems that Shell was having in 2012 was that it did not have a offshore oil spill containment system and storage

Arctic Oil Drilling

1252 words - 5 pages , the six ecosystems present in this refuge make it the most diverse in the circumpolar arctic. If the United States Congress allows oil drilling in the refuge, many of these ecosystems will be destroyed, and possibly lead to the extinction of many threatened arctic animals. The northernmost boundaries of the refuge are composed of barrier islands, coastal lagoons, salt marshes, and river deltas. These ecosystems are inhabited by numerous

Oil Drilling in the Alaskan Wildlife Refuges

2433 words - 10 pages this refuge. It was done by humans, who valued                                               nature, not to be opened to oil drilling and possible development. The wildlife debate has focused mainly on the areas of

Drilling For Oil In Alaska

1219 words - 5 pages and development.3. The Northern Slope of Alaska, specifically the Prudhoe Bay area, has been the home to oil drilling for over twenty years.C. Alaska is the largest state in the United States with over 368 million acres.1. The Federal and State governments own over 90% of those lands, with an additional 9% in Native ownership.2. The Artic National Wildlife Refuge consists of 19 million acres in the northeastern

America's Oil Problem

2231 words - 9 pages researching ways to improve renewable energy, harnessing technology, and expanding usage of renewable energy all together. Although alternate energy is cannot currently handle the energy needs of America currently, research shows we are very early in our development of alternative energy. Offshore drilling is a little risky with the chance of oil spills, yet we see it can be done safely. This cannot solve America's energy woes by itself. Offshore

Persuvasive essay on oil drilling

1233 words - 5 pages organisms in equal harmony and balance. In contrast to this moral philosophy stands the question "Should we trade America's last great wilderness for money and commercialization?" Big Oil seems to think so. They believe they can create the illusion that Americans can avoid paying two dollars per gallon at the pump if they permit drilling in the Alaskan Arctic Refuge. It is the intention of oil company lobbyists in Washington D.C. to persuade Congress

Oil Drilling and Exploration in The United States

967 words - 4 pages drilling." CNN Money. 30 July 2008. 9 Aug. 2008 .[5] Barrett, Barbara. "Minds open to offshore drilling." The News & Observer. 10 July 2006. 10 Aug. 2008 .[6] "Bush Lifts Ban On Offshore Drilling." CBS News. 14 July 2008. 10 Aug. 2008 .[7] Tverberg, Gail. "The US Offshore Drilling Argument: The Debate Between "Starting Now" and "Waiting a While"" The Oil Drum. 30 June 2008. 10 Aug. 2008 .

Oil Drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge

1992 words - 8 pages Oil Drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge The main issue presented in my research involves the debate between environmentalists and the United States government on whether to open and develop a portion of the Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in the northern coastal plain of Alaska for the purpose of drilling for oil. Environmentalists argue that opening up this region of ANWR to future oil drilling would destroy the current

No Oil Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

1067 words - 4 pages “Drill Baby Drill” was the comment used by Republican National Chairman Michael Steele at the 2008 Republican National Convention. It became the motto for many pro-offshore drilling advocates, including vice president Republican nominee Sarah Palin. These advocates are trying to destroy the Alaskan preserves, just because Alaska is wealthy in oil. However, Alaska is wealthy in more than just oil. It is wealthy in beauty, wildlife, and culture

Debate On Alaska Oil

4138 words - 17 pages since then. Supporters of an end to the oil export ban have proposed many bills that would repeal it. In 1992, oil ban repeal supporters pushed ANWR drilling legislation through the Senate Energy Committee for the first time.The 1992 election of Bill Clinton to the U.S. presidency and the Democrats' gains in both the Senate and the House of Representatives seemed to eliminate the possibility of the ANWR being repealed. But the 1994 mid-term elections

Similar Essays

Offshore Oil Drilling Essay

1677 words - 7 pages Revolution ("Public Reaction to Offshore Oil"). Though the debate on global warming is still going, the scientific evidences support the fact, greenhouse gases are causing global warming. On top of that carbon dioxide is the major source of air pollution causing health risk in urban cities. Oil drilling is an imperfect process and spills and leaks are not uncommon. However, a series of major spills and accidents led to some government regulation

Oil Drilling Essay

1217 words - 5 pages . Oil is a necessity so if the price to obtain it rises or falls down, we as a country will need to still purchase and produce large amounts to satisfy our needs. On a yearly basis the United States produces about 5 million barrels of oil per day which ultimately is almost 2 billion a year and if you think that is a lot, almost twice as much is imported from other countries. Oil drilling has various methods and procedures to it. Horizontal

Oil Drilling Essay

1597 words - 6 pages power stations today are providing about 20% of the world's electricity. “One of the main reasons that hydro energy is used is that it is a renewable energy, meaning it will not be depleted over time and it will consistently be replenished. It is also a clean energy source, as it does not emit any toxins.” (greenenergyhelpfiles) Oil drilling has many disadvantages and needs to be stopped. The negative out-weights the positives by a lot. There are

How Oil Drilling Works Essay

1610 words - 6 pages and court hearings. BP settled criminal charges with the Justice Department two years ago for $4.5 billion in penalties, but the oil company faces billions of dollars more in costs from a federal civil trial in New Orleans to determine how much it will be required to pay in Clean Water Act fines. (Krauss) Only weeks before the Deepwater Horizon Accident, Obama had announced plans to expand offshore oil drilling. The federal government's plan was