To produce petroleum products to fuel our transportation vehicles, to heat our homes, and to create other products, we need crude oil. These petroleum products may have made life easier. But, the process to find, produce and move crude oil has led to various negative effects on the environment.
The technological advancement that produces, explores and transports crude oil has reduced the drilling and producing of oil. When the miners explore and drill for oil, it disturbs the ecosystem of the marine and land life.
Seismic techniques are utilized to explore and discover for oil below the ocean floor, this procedure can harm the marine animals and fishes. On land, drilling for oil needs the area to be cleared from vegetation.
On the other side, the advancement of technology has increased the efficiency to explore and drill more for oil.
The emissions of the petroleum products have a negative impact on the environment. Carbon dioxide is the number one greenhouse gas that caused global warming. The nitrogen oxide and volatile organic compound can irritate and damage the lungs. The sulfur dioxide can result in acid rain which is harmful to the animals and plants.
With air pollution that comes from the burning of petroleum gas, the government has implemented environmental laws that aim to change the structure of gasoline to generate lesser emissions. These are called reformulated fuels, which is believed to burn cleaner than gasoline.
Hydraulic fracturing or also known as fracking is a technique used for oil production. It produces oil from shale and geologic formations. This technique highly requires a large amount of water, by which it can harm the availability of water and the marine ecosystem. More so, hydraulic fracturing can contain dissolved chemicals and contaminants which is found in the wastewater it produces.
These wastewaters are disposed of by injecting it into the deep wells or saltwater aquifers. This act can lead to earthquakes that can cause massive harm to the people.
We can hear oil spills from the news. Trucks, ships, trains, and oil wells or pipelines that transport oil from other refineries that are caught up in an accident results in oil spills. When the oil is spilled it contaminates water and soil which can result in drastic fires and explosions.
Thus, the federal government took action with this accidents. They developed a standard, regulation, and procedure that orders to reduce the potential spills and accidents. However, accidents are inevitable, when spills and accidents occur they are obliged to clean the spills.
When oil wells are plugged and becomes unhealthy, the area is restored. There are offshore oil rigs that are stopped to restore their area. After a year, the oil wells are abundant with sponges, coral, clams and other creatures. However, these reefs are artificial. It is purposely put to attract fish and other marine life animals to increase the population of the fish and recreate some opportunities for diving and fishing. Let us participate in the ‘Rigs-to-Reef’ program.