The evident rise in the price of oil worldwide increases the determination of companies in seeking more sources of oil. Many governments encourage and finance this process; they rarely consider the environmental implications of the oil extraction process and possibilities of accidents such as oil spills (Greenpeace, 3). The dangers involved in the deep sea oil drilling are evident and should not be ignored. An understanding of the process and its impact on the environment helps in reducing environmental hazards associated with oil spills. Through offshore oil drilling, an alternative means of discovering oil reserves occurs. The exploration of previously inaccessible oil reserves increases the production of oil; this in turn, lowers its price through high supply. There are several laws and regulations dictating the locations where oil drilling can be carried out; this raises the need for drilling permits showing the drill will occur within the country’s legal provisions. The offshore oil drilling process also faces social and environmental constraints; there are concerns in relation to the oil impact on aquatic life and the environment through pollution. The various issues should be explored in great …show more content…
Out of the blowouts, 128 led to significant oil pollutions. The US National Commission report addressed to the president revealed that, in 1996 2009, the US Gulf of Mexico reported 79 well control accidents; the hydrocarbons flow was uncontrolled on the surface and underground. Later on in 2009, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement recorded 8344 incidents on the Gulf of Mexico oil rigs. The reports included 6 loss of well controlled accidents, 11 oil pollution accidents and 145 explosions and fires.
Norway too, despite its reputation in the regulation of offshore drilling environments, reported 80-100 events annually; these events could have resulted in blowouts if not handled efficiently. Its offshore drilling industry reported 29 acute discharges of crude oil. In 2010, among those, 28 were below 10 tons each; the total discharge volume was 86.5 tons (Greenpeace, 9).
The offshore oil spills have a devastating effect on the ecosystem and organisms. For instance, the Exxon Valdez accident resulted in the death of 100,000 to 250,000 sea birds, 2,800 sea otters, 247 bald eagles, 300 harbor seals and 22 orca. Millions of salmon and herring eggs were also destroyed in the process (Goodyear & Beach, 9).