Oil Spill Essay

Submitted By kailabee3
Words: 2306
Pages: 10

Kaila Brooks Writing 1010
Zach Chatterley 6 December 2011
Deep Sea Drilling: Dangerous or Useful? Deep sea drilling is becoming more of a problem as oil companies are finding ways to drill deeper into the earth’s surface. The water pressures at depths of 7,000 feet under the surface are as much as 200 times that of the atmosphere (Margolis). Companies continue to drill not knowing if they will be successful in discovering oil. Although deep sea drilling makes up almost 10% of our oil supply, there is much harm that comes with it (Hargreaves). If something were to go wrong during the process of drilling it could pose a threat to the species that live in the same water. While oil companies are only looking at how much of a profit they can gain, the risks of dangerous leaking should be the main concern. While drilling deep into the ocean certain precautions need to be taken regarding the heat, salt and gas below the sea floor, as well as the effect it could have on the equipment. “‘If the pressure was too great, and the right precaution not taken, the well could have been blown and the platform set on fire’” (Bueno). This goes to show that deep sea drilling is more dangerous than it is beneficial. The fact that drillers are willing to take such huge risks for something which may not produce a profit is morally incorrect. Off the shore of Brazil a drilling company spent 240 million dollars in just 14 months and came up with almost nothing (Margolis). Spending so much time on a project without knowing if you the end result will finish with an outcome of a finance gain is purely selfish and greedy; after one takes into account all the innocent animals these oil workers are harming. Sea animals have never done anything to threaten our lives so it is not fair that we threaten theirs. Drilling deep into the waters is extremely harmful and dangerous to the animals that have made homes there. These harmful conditions of oil leaking into the ocean, has the potential to cause detrimental harm to ocean life. Oil that is spilled into these waters has long term effects that are not usually taken into consideration before oil drilling is done. It can take up to several years to clean the oil out of the water, which results in leaving helpless animals to be trapped in an environment not suitable to live in. The oil spill that occurred on April 20, 2010 off the Gulf of Mexico was one of the biggest that the United States has ever been faced with. The Deepwater Horizon was a rig which was said to be able to drill at depths of up to 5,000 feet. However an unexpected explosion occurred from the Deepwater Horizon off the coast of Louisiana, which killed 11 men and injured 17 others (Robertson). The explosion is believed to be caused by methane gas that was under too much pressure and engulfed the platform in flames. “The fire burned for up to 36 hours before the rig sank, and hydrocarbons leaked into The Gulf of Mexico for 87 days before the well was closed and sealed” says Deepwater Horizon Accident. BP (British Petroleum) did not know how much the rig was leaking, but they underestimated the leak by almost double. Robertson says that BP estimated the leak at 2,000 barrels per day, and later found out that it was actually leaking up to 5,000 barrels per day. The spill did not only affect the innocent sea animals but it affected us as the people as well. After the spill gas prices sky rocketed in fear that the oil supply was quickly running out. It is said that the oil spill could have been prevented if BP would have plugged a small leak they had found weeks earlier, but they were not successful in completing this (Barrett). After the spill it took BP up to three months to stop the rig from continually leaking oil into the waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Fifty to sixty percent of the oil spilled is said to have been left on the surface, while only thirty percent was able to evaporate. BP says that they tried to put a containment