Essay Example on Deep-water Oil Drilling

2 pages
512 words
Sewanee University of the South
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Over the past decades, the exploration methods for natural gas and oil have progressively improved. Currently, the exploration of trapped gases and oils relies on gravimetric and seismic scientific methods. Seismic methods incorporate the knowledge of electromagnetic waves to examine oil and natural gas deposits underneath the earth crust in both land and seabed. Gravimetric method of exploration involves the use of gravity meters to detect local variations of the gravitational force due to the difference in earths density across the earths surface.

Deepwater oil drilling began off the coast of Summerfield, California, in1896 (Leopold, Jason). It is a process that involves exploration for natural gas and oil deposits underneath the seabed. Oil companies use seismic waves to locate the position of oil or gas deposits. Geophysicists relay seismic waves into the seabed which are then reflected back to the survey boat. The seismic waves provide information about the nature of the earths crust. Geologists analyze the waves using computers to identify possible locations of natural oil and gas deposits. Deepwater oil wells are productive and have the potential to provide enough energy that is required globally. Global production capacity for both oil and natural gas in the deepwater oil wells exceeds the total global oil production from both the shallow water and onshore drilling processes.

The US Congress passed a bill that would limit the liability of an oil company for spills and reorganize the mineral management system. This action encouraged deepwater drilling even after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The spill is the most significant oil spill disaster in the history of marine oil operations. On 20th April 2010, the deepwater horizon rig exploded and capsized killing 11 workers and spilled more than 4 million oil barrels for more than 87 days (Jarvis, Alice). Before the disaster, the company held the world record of the deepest drilled oil well in history with a depth of 35,055 ft (Jarvis, Alice).The British Petroleum Company failed to adhere to governments regulation while constructing its well. It used outdated refinery equipment and failed to notify the regulators from the federal government on any alterations made in their drilling plans. Deepwater drilling companies should be heavily scrutinized to create appropriate, effective and approved response and prevention plans.

Oil companies should explore oil reserves in the Alaskan coast because the current world safety standards guarantee minimum environmental impacts associated with deepwater drilling. For example, European Union-wide safety standards were set after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, provide guidelines on safe offshore oil drilling. Also, oil companies should explore the massive oil reserve in Canada and the northwest. The exploration of new oil and gas deposits Canada and the northwest will open up the remote lands and contribute significantly to the economy of the country. Millions of jobs will be created, and it will also minimize the shortage of petroleum products that currently exist in the energy industry.

Works cited

Jarvis, Alice. "BP Oil Spill: Disaster By Numbers." The Independent, 2017,

Leopold, Jason. Offshore Petroleum History. American Oil and Gas Historical Society, 25 Aug. 2017,

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