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Oil Drilling In Alaska Essay

3899 words - 16 pages

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, ...view middle of the document...

Doing some math will show that on average, the world uses nearly four billion gallons of oil in a single day. To put this into perspective, the Mississippi River has a flow rate of about 90,000 gallons per second. In other words, if you took all the oil used in one day, it would be enough to flow like the Mississippi River for 45,000 seconds.

3 The History of Oil Drilling

People have been drilling for a much longer time than many realize. The first recorded instance of people digging oil out of the ground occurred in the year 347 AD. At this time, people in China were using bamboo sticks fashioned in such a way that they were able to dig up to 800ft. In the year 1848, the first modern oil well was dug in Asia at the Aspheron Peninsula, led by a Russian Engineer named F.N. Semyenov. It wouldn’t be too much later that many other countries would begin to follow and soon there were oil wells located all over the world.

Oil drilling in the united states

1 Onshore

Just like in Asia and China, there is also evidence of old tribes using oil seeps back in the early 19th century. The oil industry did not really take off until a big discovery was made at Oil Creek Pennsylvania, oddly enough. This started the first “oil boom” in the United States and for almost the entirety of the 19th and 20th centuries, the United States was a global leader.

2 Offshore

A huge amount of the United States oil production comes from offshore oilrigs. These can be found off the coasts of Louisiana, Florida, and Texas in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as off the coasts of California, Alaska, and even in the Great Lakes.

• Alaska- Offshore oil drilling has been going on here since 1976. It even has a fake island, Endicott island, made to make oil from under the Beaufort Sea

• California – Offshore drilling began here in 1896. Areas of the sea used to be leased out by the state until Santa Barbara oil spill in 1969. Now the federal government heavily regulates the areas offshore available for offshore drilling.

• Gulf of Mexico – The drilling that goes on here accounts for a large portion of the United States production. In the year 2013, production here was up to about 685 million barrels.

• Great Lakes – The only state that has allowed for drilling in any of these lakes is Michigan, which produces only a small amount.

what is anwr?

ANWR stands for Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Right now, it is the center of debate amongst many policy makers in the United States because there are some people who believe there are large amounts of oil located here, while others believe it would essentially be a waste of time and money. In the middle of these two groups are ecologists who are heavily against messing with anything in ANWR. So the people trying to get this approved have to fight a major uphill battle.

1 ANWR Origins

ANWR was created by congress in the Alaska National...

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