Alaskan Tundra

Topics: Petroleum, Oil well, Prudhoe Bay Oil Field Pages: 3 (550 words) Published: March 13, 2014


DRILL OR NO DRILL?!

Report By United States Head Editor

Introduction

This report is about whether people should stop drilling for oil in the Alaskan Tundra or if they should carry on drilling in it.

History of the Alaskan Oil Industry

Prudhoe Bay is frozen for most of the year so transporting oil by ship is impossible. Following the discovery of the Alaskan Prudhoe Bay oil field in 1968, pipeline designers faced the challenge of building a pipeline to carry 1.6 million barrels per day of oil across 800 miles ice, snow covered mountains and frozen Tundra. The risk of accidents and spillages is very big because the environment could easily be destroyed Completed in 1977, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline carried over 2 million barrels per day in 1988 and continues to deliver approximately 1 million barrels per day.

Difficulties of Oil Exploration

Freezing temperatures that make work outside extremely hard. Machinery is at risk of freezing up so the engines have to run all of the time. Oil has to be pumped at 8oC to stop the pipeline freezing up. Permafrost makes it difficult to dig into the soil so that is why the pipeline is not buried underground. The pipeline had to be built on stilts to allow the caribou to pass underneath.

A Particularly Bad Oil Spill

The oil spill was the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill that happened on 20th April 2010. The spill happened because the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded. The rig was drilling in about 5,000ft of water, pushing the Technologies to the limit. Oil had affected the sea and the beach at the Gulf of Mexico. Over 8,000 birds, sea turtles, and sea mammals were found injured or dead in the course of six months after the spill. Benefits

1. Creation of job opportunities
Drilling for oil involves a lot of digging, use of machines and many experiments which are done beforehand as well as while the digging takes place. This promotes employment opportunities that come with the digging and...
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