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Offshore oil in gulf of mexico - Essay Example

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Offshore oil in gulf of Mexico Offshore oil production reflects a significant part of oil production worldwide. In United States, offshore oil production represents, approximately, the 20% of the country’s total oil production (Foster, Cicin-Sain and Knecht 65)…
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Download file to see previous pages However, oil production is an activity that can highly affect the environment, an issue, which has not been taken into consideration by those managing oil production activities in the Gulf of Mexico. Indeed, up to now, the oil production activity in the Gulf of Mexico has been stigmatized by a series of accidents, which have led to severe environmental damages, as explained below. The responsibility of the firms managing the particular activities but also of the local authorities is high. The need for measures for ensuring the limitation of risks related to oil production in the Gulf of Mexico is emergent. The oil spill caused in the region because of the accident occurred in 2010 in BP’s platform has been characterized as the worst environmental damage in the history of USA; measures should be taken in order to ensure that similar damages would not be developed in the specific region. The economic and social benefits of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico cannot be ignored but they should not be considered as of higher importance compared to the local natural environment the damages on which because of oil production can be long term. The Gulf of Mexico covers an area of about 172580 miles (Pinet 494). There are two main entryways for the specific region; ‘the first one is located between Yucatan and western Cuba and the other between Southern Florida and northern Cuba’ (Pinet 494). ...
developed in 1987 the amount of oil available in the specific region was estimated to 9 million barrels but a later research indicated an extremely high amount of oil trapped in the Gulf of Mexico, i.e. about 45 million barrels (Gertz 2008). Because of its importance in terms of energy but also in terms of the natural environment, the region has been set under the close control of USA government which has promoted appropriate legislative texts for ensuring the protection of the region from over-exploitation (Humphries 2); the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 is such text (Humphries 2). The above text, which was introduced by President Bush, bans leasing in regard to the major part of Eastern Gulf of Mexico (Humphries 2). Still, there are certain pieces of the Gulf where no limits exist in regard to their exploitation through drilling projects. In ‘April 17, 2009, the USA court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’ (Humphries 2) held that existing leasing scheme related to the region should be cancelled and reviewed by the relevant USA authorities as its terms were not clearly defined. It is clear that oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has to be aligned with the legislation of the countries having interests in the particular region, such as Mexico, the USA and Cuba. Since the accident of April 2010 in BP’s platform in the Gulf of Mexico, drilling activities in the region have been temporarily banned in order for the damages on the environment to be controlled. Recently, US regulators approved BP’s new drilling plans for the Gulf of Mexico (Economic Times 2011), a fact indicating that oil production in the particular region is difficult to be terminated, despite the severe effects of 2010 oil spill. The significant interests in terms of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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