In a world that constantly needs oil and is resorting to increasingly desperate measures to get it, offshore drilling has begun to rise in popularity in recent years. Collecting oil deposits from the earth’s crust is something that will continue to take place, whether it is done through offshore drilling or different means.
Without oil drilling, then many citizens are not able to live their lives in the way that they have become accustomed to. Petroleum supplies become limited and goods/services are not able to be distributed as easily. With all of this in mind, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of offshore drilling.
The Pros of Offshore Drilling
1. The most obvious benefit to offshore drilling is the increase in oil production all over the world. No one is planning to adjust their lifestyle to account for the fact that oil is a finite resource, so additional sources of oil must be found and collected. The demand for petroleum is only continuing to grow.
More and more countries are becoming increasingly modern in how they do business. They also require large amounts of petroleum to ensure the continued flow of goods and services. The world has essentially come too far to turn back now.
2. Countries need increased amounts of petroleum in order to keep their economy flowing. Growth economies that are based on newer business models are popping up all over the world, which increases the planet’s overall thirst for oil. In order for these economies to continue to grow, their petroleum needs must be satisfied.
Otherwise, their growth ends up being stunted, which enables other growing nations to catch up to them and surpass them. The global economy is only going to get more competitive as time passes, so having a vast amount of petroleum in reserve provides an upper hand to those who are able to get their hands on additional oil.
3. The more oil a nation can obtain, the more job opportunities they are able to offer their citizens. In addition, the actual removal of the oil from the earth’s crust requires the hiring of a crew to handle the job. Offshore drilling provides a bevy of employment opportunities to a country that simply were not there before.
The more citizens that can be put to work at once, the better this is for the overall health of a nation. When unemployment is low, morale is high, which allows a government to operate without fear of reprisal from disgruntled citizens.
4. Increased production of oil from offshore drilling leads to a spike in income for the nation. When revenue increases, this gives a government more discretionary income to spend on addressing societal issues, such as substandard schooling, infrastructure or lack of public services.
The more money a government has, the more petroleum they can obtain, so one hand is essentially washing the other. More money equals more oil which equals even more money. For cash strapped nations that are trying to catch up to their more well developed counterparts, offshore drilling can be a huge boon to their economic well being.
The Cons of Offshore Drilling
1. While offshore drilling allows a nation to make more money, the old cliche of having to spend money in order to make money remains true. Offshore drilling is not done cheaply and requires a nation to budget for the additional expense. Should there be any sort of complications during the drilling process, this is another bill that must be footed by the government.
There is also a trial and error period. Having a successful drilling operation is not something that happens overnight. If it were easy, then every country would do it and the world would be consistently flush with petroleum.
2. Offshore drilling has extremely harmful effects on the surrounding environment. Petroleum spills are all too common during the drilling process. When oil spills take place, the nation’s drinking water often ends up being contaminated, as well the natural habitat of animals who reside in the area.
Drinking water contamination is a very serious side effect, as it often goes undetected and can have serious consequences. Those who consume the contaminated may do so unknowingly, leading to the onset of illness and even death.
3. Oil drilling facilities do not come cheaply. The initial investment that is required in order to begin offshore drilling is often out of the question for nations with smaller budgets. Spending a great deal of money to begin offshore drilling also decreases the margin of error.
When a nation that does not have vast amounts of money to spend doles out major cash to fund an offshore drilling, they need for operations to run smoothly and efficiently, which is not always feasible. Accidents do happen and complications do arise, so cash poor nations are expected to tread lightly.
4. Every country does not have vast petroleum resources waiting to be collected. Depending on which part of the world a country is in, offshore drilling may not even be a viable option. Countries that are oil and petroleum rich are able to get far more bang for the buck than those who are not.
For this reason, offshore drilling is not able to provide the same benefits to all nations across the globe. What’s worse is that all of the negative consequences remain, even if a nation attempts to conduct offshore drilling for the smaller deposits of oil that they do possess.