Thesis: Offshore Oil Drilling

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¶ … shore Oil Drilling

Offshore Oil Drilling

The main work that underlies the concept of offshore drilling is the extraction of natural resources like oil, gas or petroleum from under the water in either the continental shelves or the demarcated water boundaries for each port. Offshore drilling can also be done in lakes, rivers and tributaries. In recent times, most of the offshore drilling has been focused on only once particular resource: oil, which has been mainly extracted from the shoreline seas or oceans.

The boosted demand of oil within the industrialized states like the U.S. have provoked debates on the importance an impact of offshore oil drilling instead of merely importing oil from the Middle East States like Saudi Arabia. This has led to many scientists and ecologists battle out on the overall pros and cons of offshore drilling on not only the environment but also the people and the economy. This paper will also focus on what the positives and negatives of offshore oil drilling could be within the context of the current demand and gas prices within the United States.

But first, some facts needs to be established here: 1) there is no real stat on the actual level of the oil reserves that are present along the shores of the United States; two, any offshore drilling that begins now will only begin to show results after at least 10 years, i.e. oil will not be made accessible as a commodity for almost a decade; three, even if oil is drilled out in large quantities, the impact of the oil production will not be felt substantially on the economy before at least 2030; and four, the overall decrease in gas prices that one is evidently going to experience will be worth 4 or maybe 5 cents per dollar of gallon gas. Bearing in mind all these facts that have been established by economists and scientists, the argument that one hears the ecologists make cannot go unnoticed. This simply means that having offshore oil rigs can potentially do more damage to the environment, before it produces any substantial results and will most likely drain more finances without making balancing returns. Also, the overall issue of global warming will be more heightened with the development of offshore drilling, the reimbursements of which alone can drain the finances of any economy (Weibe, 2008). This balance between what is necessary and important will be established in This paper by analyzing both the advantages and challenges that come with offshore drilling an d tehn interpretations will be made based on the facts presented .

Offshore Oil drilling: Advantages and Challenges

Advantages

The main advantages that the politicians and the economist within the States are trying to sell to the public is that the gas prices will drop once oil is available in the market. The idea is that when the oil companies start investing in oil production, the overall demand- supply chain will sufficiently help the economy and relieve the pressure off the gas producers. The impact that many strategists see with the initiation of drilling is that the gas prices in the stock market will drop and investments in oil will increase even before any oil is actually produced. Even though the logic behind the demand- supply theory does apply to the circumstances, the one thing that this approach is missing is the fact that this is not the normal format of a demand-supply chain because the actual supply will not be at par for at least the nest decade. This means that the actual anticipated decrease in prices of gas will not really take place in the immediate future if the expectation of the alternative supply of oil will not be aptly fulfilled before the end of a decade. Hence the argument of decreasing prices is like smoke in one's eyes (Daniels, 2008).

One other advantage that the offshore oil drilling is said to have is the rise in eth employment opportunities for the people. The creation of jobs will also boost the economy's per capita income and hence also improve the overall lifestyle and educational standards of the society. Having said all that, one cannot ignore the fact that the jobs that will no doubt be created by the initiation of the offshore drilling industry will be burdened by the overall hazardous impacts on health of employees, the overall security and safety of employees within a risk-prone environment (Daniels, 2008). Furthermore, the overall impact that oil drilling has on tourist activity is also negative as one sees a considerable decline in tourism stats. This decrease will most likely see a decrease of jobs within the tourism industry which will them cancel out whatever employment opportunities that the oil rigging industry created (Daniels, 2008).

Challenges and Disadvantages

All of the manned or manual work structures for oil rigs have to be constructed above sea level. Hence, even before the actual benefits of oil production is experienced, one finds the economy already debiting the overall accounts with heavy construction costs. Even if the U.S. government has floating platforms that are mainly anchored t the shore instead of having the regular "trolled" structures, the costs will be significant because the maintenance of floating platforms and the increased security and risk measures needed to cancel out the effects of waves will be very high (Weibe, 2008). Even if the U.S. government employs the new methods being tested of pumping oil up to the surface after pumping it out from the sea bed onto a submerged platform, the overall energy needed to carry it out would be huge. With the current energy crisis and shortage of energy resources, that seems to be a hefty investment with little or no guarantee of substantial returns. The advantage of using this procedure however could give a wider spectrum of exploration of the oil resources in the sea bed (Daniels, 2008).

One of the biggest concerns with the initiation of offshore oil drilling are the potential ecological hazards that will always remain eminent with the circumstances of oil spills or waste disposals in the sea or air. Any form of spills internal i.e. within the facility can cause havoc and result in fire drills and permanent damage to the facility. External spills like from pipes transporting oil to the surface or ships transporting oil to the shore can also result in severe environmental damages to the oceans life and in turn also affect the overall health of the people.

The overall waste disposal and emissions in seas and in the air are also a cause for concern for the environmentalists as they can contribute to not only decreased quality of sea life but can also heavily contribute to the global warming. Also, the overall drilled excess water produced during the excavation of oil needs to be dumped back into the ocean. The hazard presented here is that this water isn't naturally pure and contains remnants of oil particles and other chemicals that can ruin the dynamics of the ocean water. Moreover, the actual removal or transportation of a platform after it has used up all oil resources from the sea bed is very high and to avoid this costs, most oil drilling countries choose to abandon the site as a dormant one which if adopted by the U.S. can also cause other relative problems for the movement of ships and other naval vehicles (Weibe, 2008).

Interpretations and Conclusion

The overall focus of offshore oil rigging in the 2008 presidential campaign has sprung the issue on the highest pedestal of importance for the growth of economy. John McCain used the offshore oil drilling topic as a way for avoiding discussing the rising process of gas and while the strategy worked to an extent, it does not change the fact that even if oil drilling was initiated and was successful, it really couldn't have done the economy any good for the next 10 to 15 years. The most obvious results that would be immediate would be the increase in employment opportunities, rise in environmental hazards without an immediate decrease in the gas prices as predicted by stock market practitioners. And at worst, the initiation could result in even more environmental hazards for the government to recover from, which could also cripple the fish industry and have negative impact on the economy as opposed to the projected positive impacts (Daniels, 2008; Weibe, 2008). The only reason that offshore drilling will really be legalized in the United States would be because of political agenda and not to really serve as energy backup or an economic solution, in my opinion. I say this because the fact is that the offshore drilling isn't practical, and is likely to be more detrimental then profitable. More arguments supporting this belief are in the following pages.

It is not to say that the entire drilling issue does not have its strong points, but the general perception as portrayed by the politicians or the media is not… [END OF PREVIEW]

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