Why is offshore drilling bad
What is offshore drilling?
Offshore drilling is a process to retrieve hydrocarbons (petroleum) which are found within rock structures under the seabed. It consists of drilling a wellbore right through the seabed on the continental shelf, but oil-drills on other water bodies like inland seas are not outside this classification either. There are controversies surrounding this process as both the necessary drilling materials as well as the retrieved oil can pose a threat for the surrounding environment. Let us discuss some of the top reasons as to why offshore drilling is considered harmful.
Negative impact on the marine ecology – Offshore drilling is actually an exploration process to begin with; during which a lot of seismic testing is essential to determine the location of the oil and to drill it out. These activities are usually of giant proportions and the heavy impact from this process is found to be detrimental in particular to magnificent marine animals such as whales or dolphins.
Global warming – One of the biggest reasons for global warming is the burning of hydrocarbons and when it comes to offshore drilling, this can actually work directly against the drilling rigs. Global warming from these rigs will strengthen hurricanes that are common in coastal areas and the storms would eventually harm the operations massively. This could ultimately raise the cost of the already expensive venture. Also, it has been estimated by scientists that we should be prepared to change our primary source of fuels from fossilized sources to renewable sources by the next decade or so, in order to stop the effects of global warming from reaching catastrophic proportions. When looked at from this aspect, it seems that the tremendous amount of money which is being invested in offshore drilling rigs might turn out to be a waste.
Insufficient resources – Perhaps the biggest point which negates this entire affair is the fact that the United States of America just does not have enough oil within the confines of its boundary to meet its own need. The total annual oil usage of the US comes to around 25% of the entire world’s usage, but it has less than 2% of all known oil reserves in the entire world. Therefore, it is apparent that offshore drilling projects do not even have the potential to supply US with all the oil it needs.
Drilling won’t make gas any cheaper – There are actually a number of reasons as to why it won’t; the number one reason is of course the fact that oil prices are set based on the global market and remains the same for everyone, irrespective of its origin. What this means is that even if more oil from the US itself is available for purchasing, it will be priced the same as oil imported from Middle Eastern countries. Secondly, oil companies which are investing huge sums of money into offshore drilling campaigns, are of the opinion that oil price will remain as high and continue to rise. If however, this opinion turns out to be wrong and price of oil drops somehow, these investments will turn out to be failures and thus, it is in their best interest to keep that from happening. This means that we are heading towards a time where the future of gas price is already decided.