Environmental Benefits Of Offshore Drilling

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Offshore drilling refers back to the drilling for oil in the ocean and wet lands.in todays modern day world, this offshore oil drilling is one of the most important technological breakthroughs that the world has ever made in current years. From offshore drilling, many strategies have emerge which have helped drill oil underneath the land and in the water. Since the day offshore drilling was introduced, the world has benefited a lot as it has drilled gallons of oil which have helped in industries and other critical sectors. Offshore drilling has many benefits to the whole world due to the fact the world has drilled a lot of oil. However, one of the major drawbacks of oil drilling is that it affects marine wildlife catastrophically. Offshore…show more content…
The first and foremost is the oil spillage in the ocean which leads to ocean acidification. This brings a huge threat towards the environment and the marine wildlife. Oil operation in sea bed often requires drilling fluids such as mud which are used to inject into the wellbore to lubricate the drilling bit. These devastating effects of numerous oil spills on the surface of the ocean could bring a long term environmental effect to the coastal areas as well as to the sea bed. Besides, drilling mud which contains toxic substances like benzene, zinc, arsenic, radioactive materials, and other contaminants are used to lubricate drill bits and maintain the pressure in the drill. Unfortunately these discharges are not controlled or supervised. When these harmful substances are released to the environment, the entire food chain and reproductive cycle of a certain species might be unbalanced. According to a recent study, “A single oil well discharges around 1500-2000 tons of waste materials”(PEW Charitable Trust., 2014). Thus, wastes from offshore drilling can accumulate on the sea floor causing disabilities to the aquatic animals such as, malformation, genetic damage, and mortality in fish embryos. Marine organisms that live near an existing oil spill area are usually exposed to pollution in the form of…show more content…
In certain cases, chemical substances which are inhaled or in digested may damage aquatic animal’s organs such as liver, kidney, spleen or brain. Relating to a catastrophic event, “the biggest offshore oil spill, which was the explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon unit in the Gulf in Mexico releases approximately 200 million gallons of oil, fouling beaches and coastal wet land from Louisiana to Florida; killing birds, fish and marine mammals ;”( Mineral management services 2006. OCS Leasing Program: 2007-2012). It took a few years to clean up. “Nearly 20 years after the Exxon Valdez spill, more than 26 thousand gallons of oil still remain in the shoreline”(20 years on, Exxon Valdez still pours ”http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2007feb/02/oil pollution). The consequence of this oil spill to the ocean also includes the absorbing of carbon dioxide, CO2 gas releasing from the oil refining company and nearby oil rig platform since the ocean acts as carbon sink. As CO2 increases, the acidity of ocean increases and where carbonates become less available for the marine organism. These carbonates are important for the marine organisms to build shells. Corals, calcareous phytoplankton, and mussels are especially susceptible to acidosis, which “can lead to low immune response, metabolic depression, behavioural depression affecting physical activity and reproduction, and asphyxiation”(The

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