Premium Essay

Oil Drilling in Alaska

In: Science

Submitted By adp34
Words 3899
Pages 16
Drilling For Oil In ANWR, Is It Worth It?

Alexander Payne - Engineering Student, University of West Florida

Abstract - This report will take an objective look at the possibilities of drilling for oil in Alaska. We will take a look at all of the possible benefits and good that could come out of this, as well as all of the drawbacks and negative effects that can come from drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This report will also take a look at some possible alternatives to drilling for oil in ANWR that could possibly reap the same benefits, if not more.

Index Terms – Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Porcupine Caribou, Mineral Rights, Surface Rights, Aleuts, Eskimos, Tlingits, Crude Oil, Fossil Fuels, Solar Energy, Wind Energy, Cellulosic Ethanol, oil rig, oil spill.

Introduction: Oil and its uses

1 What is Oil?

There many things referred to as “oil”, but in our case, oil is a liquid substance derived from petroleum that is used as a fuel source in hundreds of different applications, and it is also used as a lubricant. Oil is considered to be one of three main fossil fuels, the other two being coal and natural gas. As you probably know, fossil fuels are nonrenewable because it takes far too many years for nature to reproduce what we are taking away from it.

2 Uses Of Oil

Just about anything you can think of that runs off of an engine more than likely uses oil. Just to name off some other uses, oil can also be found in asphalt, some fertilizers, solvents, heating appliances, plastics, and polyurethanes. Most of the oil that comes from drilling though is used up for transportation purposes such as vehicles and airplanes. Also the military uses large amounts of oil, more than any other United States program. On average, the world uses 85 million barrels of oil on any given day, which is a huge…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay


...Recently the United States had the worst oil spills ever in history, and yet we continue to keep drilling and harming human life, animal life and nature as we know it. I do however understand that accidents do happen, but this was a 100% preventable accident. I am curious what the government and British Petroleum are doing to prevent a further situation like this from happening. I do understand that unfortunately this country is so depend on crude oil. However, I think that is the problem to begin with, we rely too much on crude oil. There are many other alternatives in the environment that can be further researched but I think the government is more worried about the dollar figure than our eco system. The United States is one of the biggest and most dependent countries to oil. History itself has shown us the affects of drilling offshore, yes they are rare but, they are very deadly. Oil spills can kill within a matter of minutes. It can take years or even decades to clean up and see rebuilding of its affects. We could put a man on the moon, make cell phones which talk, watch 3D television, but yet we cannot find another source or way to free ourselves from the dependency on oil. My viewpoint on life has always been the same, human life, animal life or even plant life deserves a chance to survive. As a child I was always worried about the environment and our eco system, what will happen to the next generation? If we don’t take care of it now what will it be like when I......

Words: 422 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Should the Artic National Wildlife Refuge Be Opened to Oil Drilling

...Should the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Be Opened to Oil Drilling? SCI207 Dependence of Man on the environment July 11, 2010 Abstract The rising cost of gas has been a great debate for consumers and congress. Currently the price of gas is between $2.71 to 3.39 depending on what state you live in. Consumers are finding it more and more disturbing that gas is increasing what is it going to take to make the prices decrease? Is oil drilling here in the United Stated the best thing to do? Oil Drilling has been a topic for our government for years. It seems that the debate is that oil should be drilled hear in our United States. Some have stated that oil drilling would be costly. But it would also reduce the amount we consumers spend on gas. If drilling was to take place there is an area in Alaska where the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is. I hope to show the positive side of oil drilling in Alaska and the negative affects it will have on oil drilling. Currently, I understand both sides of drilling oil but it is not fair to kill off wildlife if oil drilling could be possibly found in areas where there aren’t any wildlife would be good or if the government could provide proof that if oil drilling was to take place that the wildlife would not be hurt. As we look at both sides of why to drill and why not we can explore just what seems to be the big problem we and what the decision......

Words: 1872 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Offshore Drilling

...sources of crude oil and natural gas. In 1887, H.L. Williams decided to drill wells offshore and his first well went about three hundred feet into the Pacific. As expected, the extraction was abundant and extremely productive. During this time, the combustion engine was also being created which increased America’s demands for gasoline. The first well drilled from a fixed platform offshore was not created until 1947 by the Kerr-McGee Corporation and also marked the beginning of the modern offshore drilling industry. As a result, oil production was known as the second largest revenue generator for the United States. Creating offshore oil platforms entails more than three billion dollars. For some companies this could be a great investment, as for others it could signify a great loss. On March 23, 1989, Exxon Valdez had its first most tragic oil spill in U.S. history. Irresponsibility and carelessness led to the spilling of approximately 10.8 million gallons of oil into Prince William Sound affecting fisheries, the livelihood of citizens in Alaska, wildlife, and those who found Prince William Sound a sacred and pure place was now degraded. On April 20, 2010, British Petroleum (BP) reported a leakage of five thousand barrels of crude oil per day into the Gulf of Mexico. It was caused by methane gas from the drill rushing out, igniting and then exploding causing eleven workers’ lives and the damage of a well. The rupture of the well has caused non-stop leakage of oil into the......

Words: 1487 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay


...sources to develop adequate energy. It is my position we should continue to drill wherever oil is available. There is a Congressional ban on drilling offshore in regions along the North Atlantic coast, most of the Pacific coast, parts of the Alaskan coast, and most of the eastern Gulf of Mexico (When a science fiction nightmare becomes a reality). The areas under the ban are estimated to hold over 18 billion barrels of oil but after recent estimates have increased the previous estimates of untapped oil in Gulf of Mexico from 9 billion to 45 billion barrels, there could be much more oil under the sea than previously thought. Environmentalists have argued against all types of drilling. They do not approve offshore drilling because of danger to marine life. They do not also approve onshore drilling because of the pollution risks involved to the extent of opposing oil pipelines. The recent oil spill in the Gulf has strengthened their argument further but they do not bring to the table adequate answers to American energy needs. Whereas the oil spill in the Gulf was a serious matter, it was just an accident and accidents happen all the time. The perception that oil pollution is a result of drilling is wrong. Equipment failure and human error are the causes. We do not stop flying just because there has been a plane crash somewhere. We identify the problems and fix them. The advantages of drilling far outweigh the disadvantages. We can still drill in a way that protects the......

Words: 548 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Offshore Drilling

...Offshore Drilling: A Bad Idea Crude oil is one of the three kinds of fossil fuel (coal, crude oil, and natural gas) that are widely used by humanity. It plays a very important role in our world, as it is one of our primary energy sources. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the United States is the biggest oil consumption country in the world, which consumes 19.5 million barrels of oil per day (EIA, “Country Energy Profiles: Oil Consumption”). Crude oil can not only be found on the continent, but also in the ocean. The activity that people discover and extract oil from the ocean is called offshore drilling. Offshore drilling has a long history in the United States. The first offshore well was drilled in 1896, in California (“History of Offshore Oil” 163). Oil soon became the primary energy source of the United States by 1910, as the internal combustion engine, which requires gasoline to power, was invented (“History of Offshore Oil” 163). In the next few decades, offshore drilling industry in the U.S. was going up quickly (“History of Offshore Oil” 163-64). Along with the development of the industry, the government regulation came up. To pursue offshore drilling in the U.S. OCS (Outer Continental Shelf) lands, oil companies need to acquire the lease from the U.S. federal government (“History of Offshore Oil” 164). The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) passed in 1953 ensured federal government’s control of the OCS (“History of Offshore......

Words: 2690 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

Drilling Away from the Obvious

...hjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm Drilling Away From the Obvious In an Energy Crisis 5/1/2011 Author | Drilling Away From the Obvious, In an Energy Crisis. Junior High and High school students are woken up and drilled to be at school on time. Then college students are drilled by our professors for excellence in our works. Upon entering lower management, these personnel are drilled by middle management and these in turn are drilled by upper management; all through the business food chain, up to senators who are drilled by their constituents for solutions to problems. Education of the economy of our Nation’s oil industries’ definitions of oil, oil consumption, recoverable oil, oil rigs & their companies will raise awareness to the meager effects of drilling for domestic oil and raise awareness to the true potential of alternative energies. Comprehension of our oil industries’ limited footprint of jobs and trickledown effects as compared to green jobs’ large footprint of trickledown effects and job capacity. Our Nation’s interests are found in weaning our dependence of foreign oil to green alternatives. America contains many sites of oil, numbering well into the trillions of barrels of oil; however we lack one or two things to recover each of these sites’ deposits, these two conditions are technically recoverable and economically recoverable (Wikipedia, World Oil). A technically recoverable reserve is defined as a deposit that......

Words: 2893 - Pages: 12

Premium Essay

Oil Drilling

...Oil Drilling Jasmine A. Richardson Freshman Seminar Friday 10:20-11:20 Throughout the years the government has spent millions of dollars on oil drilling. But what is the actual purpose of oil drilling? Is it necessary? Are we spending too much money on this one project or is it useful in the end? These questions have been debated so much over and over again. But the question is am I for or against oil drilling? Oil drilling takes up too much time and money for one simple purpose. It takes time and a workload to even begin this process. In order to perform a normal oil drilling process you have to find a land that has to be cleared and leveled, water must be nearby, if there is no water the crews have to dig water well, and lastly the crews have to reserve a pit. All of this is very expensive and damaging to the land. In an article in Bloomberg Business week it was recorded that marathon oil spent 10 million on oil drilling and that was just for one time. If oil drilling is really purposeful for the country why make it so expensive? There aren’t any other resources to finding oil? And the main objective is if we’re spending so much money on oil drilling then why are we even fighting in the war anymore? The damages to the land are excruciating and the government always ends up paying for the damages so that’s double to money they’re spending. One expensive tool they use to capture the oil is the oil rig. They use it to drill into the ground so that they can confiscate...

Words: 2003 - Pages: 9

Free Essay


...Introduction ALASKA MILK CORPORATION is one of the leading manufacturers of milk products in the Philippines. It has established a strong brand heritage among Filipino consumers with its traditional liquid canned milk products marketed under the Alaska label. The Company has likewise established a strong presence in the powdered milk business and a growing position in the UHT ready-to-drink and ready-to-use segments. Alaska Milk Corporation began its corporate life in 1972 as Holland Milk Products, Inc. (HOMPI). HOMPI was a partnership between Holland Canned Milk B.V., a dairy company in the Netherlands, and General Milling Corp. (GMC), an agro-industrial foods company founded by Mr. Wilfred Uytengsu Sr. with interests in flour, animal feeds, soybean milling and consumer food products. In 1988, HOMPI was merged into GMC’s corporate structure and operated as a milk division. By 1994, the milk division was spun off as a separate company, now known as Alaska Milk Corporation or “AMC”. With the growth of the domestic milk market and the need to expand production capacities, AMC tapped the capital market and became a publicly listed company in the Philippine Stock Exchange in 1995. The final move in the creation of AMC came with the absorption of its exclusive distributor in 1998, providing the company with the necessary leverage to grow its core milk business. The Company has further strengthened its core business by acquiring /......

Words: 304 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Drilling for Oil in the U.S.

... CIB #5 Drilling for oil in the United States The United States have a great need for oil consumption. Most the current providers are from places like the Middle East and South America. These countries do not like the United States very much and some people would even consider them as enemies. The prices of gasoline have risen in the past few months and because of the economy many people are paying more for gasoline. Researches have been done that shows there is quite a bit of oil offshore in the United States and also in Alaska. Drilling can be safely done while protecting the environment which would free us from our dependency on foreign oil. Environmentalists are opposed to any new drilling in the United States. Every corner on the United States is impacted by the need for oil. Most families in the United States have cars that they use to commute to and from work and for families activities. Businesses are dependent on oil to transport their goods and services to their customers. Whenever the price of oil goes up, the cost of the goods and services also rises. The additional cost is then passed on by businesses to their customers. Governments have huge fleets of cars, trucks, and other vehicles that also depend on oil and they have to increase taxes to meet this additional expense. Since it is proven that the United States has many years of oil in our soil and that it can be extracted safely with new......

Words: 447 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Effects of Offshore Drilling

...Effects of offshore drilling Offshore drilling also known as Seaward boring is a topic that has brought controversy for a few decades, the drilling in United States coast has been detrimental in helping the economy and political stand in the country; however this process is extremely dangerous to the environment, individuals and animals, Case in point, the oil slick in the Gulf a couple of years prior significantly harmed nature and marine life Boring ashore is an immense extend in itself in addition to endeavoring to penetrate a mile under unpleasant oceans in a dark pit. Seaward boring is a serious and perilous process that takes exactness and time. Oil wells are regularly high rise size articles many feet beneath the surface. They are greatly mind boggling structures and the scarcest misstep might be annihilating to nature's turf. When boring can start, exploratory wells are situated up to discover the accurate oil gushers. When a spot is found with a sufficient measure of oil, a subsea boring format is placed set up to guide out where the parts of the well ought to be spotted. In the following step, a drill string, which join from the beginning the stage, is utilized to make gaps in the sea depths. At the point when the opening is profound enough, metal channel packaging is situated up around the dividers of the gap to stabilize it. Finally, a conductor funnel is placed set up to keep spillage from the openings. When petroleum is hit, preparation packaging is......

Words: 1298 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Dinosaurs in Alaska

...Dinosaurs In Alaska? When you hear a place about Alaska, we think of snow, polar bears, glaciers, and cold weather. When you think of dinosaurs, we think of tropical places and hot climates. You would probably doubt dinosaurs could have ever lived here in Alaska. But about 65 million years ago they not only lived here, they thrived! There are a lot of information about dinosaurs, but what this paper will cover is how dinosaurs directly relate to Alaska. After reading this paper, you will find out how dinosaur research started and how long ago dinosaurs lived in Alaska. Plus find out the type of dinosaurs that lived Alaska, and the type of climate and which parts of Alaska that they lived in. You will also find out what type of evidence they found, if dinosaurs are related to the oil industry, who is still studying dinosaurs, and how this topic is introduced to the public. How it all began Dinosaurs strolled the earth over 245 million years ago. So it would only be fair to go all the way back to the beginning and quickly summarize how it all happened. Earth’s history is categorized into two eras, and then categorized by periods. The two eras are Paleozoic era, and Mesozoic era. Paleozoic era - (560 to 276 million years ago): This is the period where the first fish, corals, shellfish, insects, spiders, and swamp forests appeared. Mesozoic era - (350 to 65 million years ago)We are most interested in this era. This era contained 3 periods: Triassic period,......

Words: 3781 - Pages: 16

Premium Essay

Alaska the Brand

...Alaska Brand Audit Brand Inventory History Alaska has been a unique brand for many years. Originally known as Russian America because it was owned by Russia, the origin of the name Alaska is a misconception from the first Russian explorers to venture into Alaskan waters (the original Aleut word "alaxsxaq" literally meaning "object toward which the action of the sea is directed"[Alaska]). When the United States bought Alaska, even though the price was only two cents an acre, it was known for many years as “Seward’s Folly” or “Seward’s Icebox”, after William Seward, the Secretary of State who was primarily responsible for pushing the purchase from Russia through Congress. In the early days Alaska’s brand image was mostly negative. It was known as the “Frozen North”, the “land of ice and snow”, the “land without summer”. Many of these images are from the stories and poetry of Robert Service, Jack London and their contemporaries. A good example of this writing is the poem “Cremation of Sam McGee”— see appendix II, (Service). All these extreme brand images dominated perceptions of Alaska prior to the discovery of gold in the Klondike in the late 1800s. After gold was discovered these negative perceptions were softened somewhat, though they remained rather negative—in large part due to the difficulty of living in the far north. Our Brand Survey We did a brand audit of Alaska to see how well Alaska has worked past these harsh criticisms. To accomplish this we......

Words: 7487 - Pages: 30

Premium Essay

Offshore Oil Drilling

...Stop Offshore Drilling The environmental impacts of offshore oil drilling greatly outweigh the economic benefits provided. Although it has been a continuous activity for more than a decade, One can not help but wonder why offshore drilling continues when considering the pollution caused, how it eliminates the supply of natural resources, murders innocent sea creatures, and actually damages the national economy. There are, however, solutions to this problem. Before solutions can be presented, it is important to discuss the various problems. First, offshore oil drilling results in both sea and land based pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, claims that "with offshore drilling comes substantial routine pollution in the forms of oil and gas." By routine, the EPA means "a near constant flow from oil rigs and derricks" (Sisskin). Nothing is ever done about the pollution, and until something is done about the oil being put into the sea, our oceans are at risk. So just how much oil is put in the oceans? According to a study conducted by the World Research Institute, "...between 3 and 6 million tons of oil are discharged into the oceans every year" (Gorman 48). To put this in perspective, that is approximately 4 football stadiums filled to the top with oil. That is just every year...and this has been going on for more than a decade. In total, 45 million tons of oil in the past ten years that have been put into the oceans. There are several ways that oil ends up......

Words: 1401 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Exxon Oil Spill Alaska

...The Exxon Valdez Oil spill was a major oil spill that occurred on March 1989 in William Sound Alaska. A oil tanker ship struck a coral reef and spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil into the water of the Prince Williams Sounds. There was over 1,990 kilometers of shoreline contaminated and eventually covered 11,000 square miles of the ocean. It also killed many animals in the immediate days following the spills; 2,000 sea otters, 302 harbor seals, about 250,000 seabirds, a couple dozen wales, and killed thousands of fish eggs. This oil spill is known as one of the worst human-caused marine disasters, even though it is not one of the biggest, but because of the lasting damage it caused to the environment because it the Prince of William sound serves as a curtail habitat for many different types of life. Many organizations and groups established cleanup teams and areas to clean up and rehabilitate the animals and wildlife that was harmed. Other methods were used to get the oil out of the water. They tried three different methods; burning, mechanical cleanup, and chemical dispersants. A boom was placed into the water and moved slowly through the water then taken out and the oil was ignited and burned up. Nothing was endangered because it was burned a safe distance away but due to the unfavorable weather additional burning was not attempted. Mechanical cleaners that included things like skimmers were used but were not always readily available and they tended to be clogged by......

Words: 486 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Offshore Drilling

...Offshore Drilling – To Drill or Not to Drill The Effects of Drilling on the Environment and Business Lydia M. Wityk Strayer University Abstract This paper will explore the business of oil companies drilling off the coast line of the United States. It will explore the benefits from the business of oil companies to the detrimental effects of the oil spills from the offshore drilling. Should we continue to drill for oil off the coast with the possibility of additional spillage into the oceans. We know that oil spills damage the environment, and the social and economic welfare of the residents in the area. At the same time the oil companies can positively affect the economy and the United State’s welfare. In comparing both sides of the argument I will look at the past and current oil companies to determine if they acted morally in their everyday business practice. At this post-BP disaster era, the United States is questioning whether we should continue to drill and expand our drilling. I will utilize the consequentialist theory to determine what would be the best next step for the U.S. to take. Using the current information gathered on BP’s business practice and the effects of the oil spill, I will weigh the ratio of good to bad to determine my opinion on whether to drill or not to drill. Off Shore Drilling – To Drill or Not to Drill The Effects of Drilling on the Environment and Business The United States has been offshore drilling for oil......

Words: 3209 - Pages: 13