To Drill or Not to Drill for Oil

Topics: Petroleum, Natural gas, Petroleum industry Pages: 2 (723 words) Published: March 22, 2013
Most Americans have no idea that the United States is sitting on enough recoverable oil to power us for the next 250 years at our current usage rate... The United States is estimated to have 1.4 trillion barrels of oil—or 1.7 trillion, if the resources of Canada and Mexico are counted. There aren't many options for quick relief from high prices at the pump, but it is very obvious the sooner we free ourselves from the shackles of oil dependence – foreign and domestic – the sooner we will be free of oil industry profiteering and political pandering. What we must determine is if the decision to drill in other areas of the United States including Alaska and even the Gulf Coast or should we explore the other options which include alternate sources of energy such as solar and wind power. Or these issues or problems and if so how do we resolve them.

The task of finding oil is a job that has long belonged to the geologists, whether employed directly by an oil company or under contract from a private firm. Their task is to find the right conditions for oil trap the right source rock, reservoir rock and entrapment. Over hundreds of years ago geologists interpreted surface features, surface rock and soil types, and perhaps some small core samples obtained by shallow drilling. Modern oil geologists also examine surface rocks and terrain; this is done with the assistance of satellite images. A variety of other methods are used, they can use sensitive gravity meters to measure tiny changes in the Earth's gravitational field that could indicate flowing oil, as well as sensitive magnetometers to measure tiny changes in the Earth's magnetic field caused by flowing oil. They are able to detect the smell of hydrocarbons using sensitive electronic noses called sniffers. Most commonly seismology is used, which creates shock waves that pass through unseen rock layers and interpreting the waves that are reflected back to the surface. I do believe that the United States should...
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