The Effects of Oil Spills and Drilling on the Environment Essay

1914 Words 8 Pages
Oil spills and drilling has an effect on our environment. It’s estimated that since humans have first started drilling into the earth, we have drilled over 1700 holes into the ocean floor (Normile & Kerr 2003). Oil drilling can lead to oil deposits accumulating beneath thick layers of salt. Drilling at ~4,000m deep involves extreme conditions; the oil itself may be around 200oC, while the temperature of the ocean floor might be just above freezing. This would cause the pipe to burst, which has a high probability of leading to oil being spilled. The average number of marine spills per year has increased from 47 per year (1968-1977) to 188 ruptures and 228 leakages per year (Jernelöv 2010). Oil spills are detrimental to the …show more content…
There is a great chance that there are miniscule effects on the environment we are not aware of. This paper won’t be able to evaluate every oil spill that has happened up until this year, or the grand effect that oil spills has had on the environment and its species. However, by being more knowledgeable about oil spills and drilling on a smaller scale, perhaps something can be done to prevent and assist with future oil spills. As mentioned previously, oil spills happen. Even the smallest of oil spills can cause damage to the ecosystems. Species drenched in oil struggle to survive, and humans close to the shorelines where oil spills take place suffer with the damages as well. While there are oil spills that are spontaneous, and quick to happen, there are also spills that are more under the radar, yet just as harmful. The amount of oil that seeps into the Gulf of Mexico over the course of a year is around 140,000 tons. Even a small oil spill can kill animals. The amount of oil seeping into the ocean is certainly enough to kill birds, as well as other marine organisms. There is a high likelihood that oil spills with continue to occur. Knowing this, preparing and ensuring proper care and knowledge of how to handle future situations is key. Expanding oil wells, and mitigation technologies for spills are not improving at a fast enough rate to be beneficial for

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