Effects of Oil and Gas Exploration on the Environment

With worldwide efforts of industries trying to go “green” and be more environmentally friendly, one of the big topics that has sparked everyone’s curiosity is the topic of oil and gas exploration. Many people are curious about what effects the environment will experience from oil and gas exploration. Here is a look at some of the most common effects.

Constructing Sites

Image from Wikipedia

The construction of the site affects different aspects of the local area. To begin with the area will have to be cleared and readied for the site to be set up. This may affect local wetlands and other ecosystems. While before, this was an area of concern, companies in shale areas, such as Eagle Ford Shale, have taken great strides to help keep the local areas and make sure that the site’s construction has little interference to any local vegetation and wildlife. By choosing to be more environmentally aware, constructing drilling sites has less disturbance to the wildlife.

Difference in Water Quality

Water quality may change when there is oil and gas exploration. If the water quality changes or the temperature of the water alters then this may have an effect on organisms and animals that live in the water and the wetlands. With the proper preparation for the site, there is a decreased chance that the water will experience any degradation. Proper preparation will help make sure there is less waste distribution and there are no variations in the temperature of the water.

Air Quality and Emissions

With the emissions from the rigs and other pieces of equipment, the air quality may decrease. This decrease in air quality can have an effect on soil and run the potential of affecting wetlands. Fortunately companies today are now using lighter rigs that have been designed to be more environmentally friendly. Being lighter in weight, they use less energy and put out fewer emissions.

Accidental Spills

Accidental spills would also effect the environment. However, with modern technology, there is a decreased chance of these accidental spills from happening. Rigs and tools were created and designed to help reduce the risk of spills. Other steps are taken on site, such as extra worker precaution, to help decrease the chance of an oil spill.

With these new precautions in place, there is minimal chance of a spill occurring, and even if there is an accidental spill, companies are quick to clean up the problem. They will take quick actions to contain anything that was released. With the quick clean up and tight containment, these make for a shorter duration posing little risk to the nearby areas.

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