Yes, it’s true that any time humans interfere with nature, there is an impact of some kind. Ever since humans started hunting for food, building fires and painting on rocks, we’ve had an impact on the environment. And even now, you live in a home on a street that was once “nature”. The more important question is, are we being responsible with our impact on the environment?
Although Offshore energy production gets a bad rap, the process is actually quite safe and environmentally sound. With the new technologies that have been developed over the last 50 years, the oil and gas industry as a whole, is much better when it comes to worker safety and threats to the environment. Offshore drilling companies and equipment manufacturers have taken significant steps forward when it comes to protecting the environment, and here are some of the tools and processes they are using:
Advanced 3-D seismic and 4-D time imaging: Like never before, offshore operators have the ability to accurately and precisely locate gas and oil resources. With this technology, it’s becoming less and less about guessing, and that means less drilling and greater resource recovery.
Storm chokes: Today, each offshore well has this technology that allows it to immediately detect damage to surface valves and shut down production during an emergency.
Blowout preventers: These have also been installed on all operating wells. They continuously monitor the subsurface and subsea-bed conditions to anticipate unexpected changes in well pressure, thus preventing blowouts.
Waste product reuse: This technology takes the typical waste product of drilling (pieces of rock, drilling fluids, etc.) and transforms into reusable raw material for bricks and roads.
These are just a few of the advancements in the last few decades, and they are having a positive impact on the industries environmental impact. Data from the U.S. Department of Interior show, offshore operators produced 7B barrels of oil from 1985 to 2001 with a spill rate of only .001%.
That’s: POINT ZERO ZERO ONE - Percent!
So as you can see… Yes, there is always an impact when you infringe on the natural environment, but the offshore energy production industry has done a very good job of minimizing harm to our environment.