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Natural resources have increasingly become rare as economies around the globe are expanding with the dawn of each day. Oil is a very significant commodity to both the developing and developed economies. The high demand for natural gas has drawn many nations to struggle for the remaining oil resources available which has somehow proved not enough to fuel the whole world. This has forced some nations to carry out exploration studies and make attempts to find oil far from the land. This paper will give a short analysis of the two drilling processes one of which is carried out on the land while the other is carried out in the sea. The paper seeks to show that onshore drilling of oil is better than the offshore drilling by examining the economical, environmental and political of the two drilling types.
The adverse impacts of offshore oil drilling have been brought to light by the present leak of offshore oil well being managed by the BP Company. As seen from the difficulties which the BP company has experienced in controlling the spill it is clear that controlling an accident involving an offshore oil is doubly hard than an onshore well (Mason and Jaieson, 2010). Such accidents raise serious questions on how they affect the environment in the present time and in the future. The effects of spills on aquatic life cannot be estimated currently. According to Kofman (2010), "For 86 days, oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico from BP's damaged well, dumping some 200 million gallons of crude into sensitive ecosystems" (p. 1). Though there are reports that the spilt oil is under control with some being burnt and some being collected by the BP Company it is a clear indication that offshore spills have the potential of causing a widespread damage on ecosystem. According to Whipple (2010), scientists have warned that such spills usually cause dead zones where no aquatic life can survive. The effects of currents cannot be underestimated in such a case as it is likely to carry the oil spills a thousand miles away from the source of the spill (Whipple, 2010).
Arguing from the economical point of view it can be seen that offshore drilling will often interfere with many industries. The noise and pollution it causes to marine life and dirtying of beaches affects both the fishing and tourism industry. It is clear that if oil drilling is confined to onshore drilling such accidents cannot occur. It is reported that "a third of federal waters are already closed to fishing, and as such no one really knows the ultimate impact on the seafood industry" it has further been reported that, "It could revive before the year is out or be damaged for decade" (Whipple p. 1). It has often been argued that the offshore drilling of oil supports many jobs both directly and indirectly. As much as this is a fact it should be noted that the same jobs can be sustained if the well were dug in the dry land and therefore it does not make much sense to dig the wells in regions where there are high chances of disrupting other industries (Werth, 2010; National Research Council (U.S.). (2003b).
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On political grounds offshore drilling has often generated a lot heat. It has been seen that a lot efforts have been directed to debates on the issue of offshore drilling. Such precious time could instead be used on debating on different issues apart from offshore drilling issues. Onshore drilling has not raised much discussion as offshore drilling and as such should be adopted. It should be noted that much of the political debates either to support or ban offshore drilling are based on the economical and environmental effects of the process. From the above brief discussion on the economic and environment effects of offshore drilling it has been shown that the political leaders ought to support the ban of offshore drilling of oil and embrace onshore drilling efforts. As a matter of fact there might be job losses which will result from banning offshore oil drilling of oil but in the long run there will be interference of industries: marine life and the ocean environs will generally be kept safe (Lynne, 2003; National Research Council (U.S.). (2003a).
In conclusion it is safe for governments to advocate for onshore oil drilling as opposed to offshore oil drilling. This will eliminate possibilities of polluting the marine environment and affecting the fishing and tourism industry as well.
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