Impacts of oil and gas: negative impacts of oil and gas. Negative impacts of oil and gas on the environment, health and safety.
The impacts of oil and gas can either be positive or negative which can be determined through oil and gas impact assessment. Environmental impact assessment is crucial in the oil and gas industry because it compares the positive effects and the
negative effects on the environment as well as on health and safety which serves as a guide in the decision making process. If it is negative, there is need to look for means to prevent the oil and gas activities or reduce the negative oil and gas effects that may result if the oil and gas activities are carried out.
Effects of oil and gas: negative effects of oil and gas on the environment, health and safety
Negative Impact of Oil and Gas
Despite the economic benefits of oil and gas like revenue, job creation, invest opportunities, and oil and gas trade there still exist some negative impacts on health, safety and environment. Thus there are environmental impacts of oil and gas, health impacts of oil and gas and safety impacts of oil and gas.
Environmental Impacts of Oil and Gas
1. Negative Impacts of Oil and Gas on the Environment.
i. The toxicity of crude oil to the environment makes it negatively affect virtually all forms of life- humans, plants and animals (e.g aquatics like fishes). The toxicity of crude oil and crude oil products makes it have negative environmental impacts. What causes the toxicity is crude oil as well as substances called volatile organic compounds which can either be liquid or solids. An environment that is void of oil and gas exploration may be toxic but such toxicity are not caused by oil and gas activities. Then when an environment has less oil and gas activities the level of toxicity will be lesser. In the same way, an environment that has much oil and gas activities for a long period of time will definitely be more toxic.
ii. Oil and gas activities can lead to change in the climate over a period of time because the combustion of petroleum releases gaseous carbon(IV)oxide (CO2) which affects the climate.
iii. Oil and gas activities cause acid rain. Acid rain occurs when there is incomplete combustion of petroleum thereby releasing Nitrogen gas (N2) that is then oxidized to form nitrous oxide(N2O) which is also called laughing gas. The nitrous oxide formed then reacts with sulphur(IV)oxide (SO2). It is a combination of both oxides with water in the atmosphere that give rise to acid rain. The acid rain causes the death of trees and fishes. It also causes corrosion.
iv. Sometimes oil and gas activities in an area may lead to oil spillage which is a kind of environmental pollution. Oil spills occur mostly around water bodies where there are oil wells, oil pipelines, etc. Oil spillage also occurs on land. Oil spillage on water leads to death of aquatics e.g fishes, etc.
Health Impacts of Oil and Gas
2. Negative Impacts of Oil and Gas on Health
The negative impacts of oil and gas can as well affect health. Oil and gas activities release toxic substances which are carcinogenic. These carcinogens lead to cancer. Cancer is a very serious health problem. Apart from cancers, oil and gas activities can lead to different types of birth defects. Soot and soot particles from automobile exhaust have serious negative effect on human heart and lung which are essential organs to stay healthy and alive.
Safety Impacts of Oil and Gas
3. Negative Impacts of Oil and Gas on Safety
The negative impacts of oil and gas is not only on environment and health but also on safety. Oil and gas operations are not risk-free in terms of safety hence it is important to adhere to safety measures. Due to the fact that petroleum and petroleum products are flammable, there are reports of explosion. The risks associated with oil and gas is one reason we by assumption think that people in oil and gas industry are well paid.
As a result of the negative impacts of oil and gas on environment, health and safety that oil and gas sector like other sectors are expected to comply with industry’s standard practices with regards to health, safety and the environment. Thus oil and gas companies require Healthy, Safety and Environmental (HSE) personnel that have obtained Health, Safety and Environmental courses, training or qualifications aimed at assessing, preventing, minimizing or eliminating risks associated with oil and gas industry.
In addition to corruption associated with the oil and gas industry of some countries that have oil and gas reserves in quantities and qualities as reported by some local and international oil and gas media reporters together with the aforementioned negative impacts of oil and gas such as negative environmental impacts of oil and gas, negative health impacts of oil and gas and negative safety impacts of oil and gas one can therefore say that oil and gas can be a curse if these negative impacts of oil and gas are not checked. In terms of oil and gas corruption reports, there has been the proposal of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative(EITI) for natural resources of which oil and gas is one of such resources and oil and gas industry is one of such extractive industries. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative(EITI) can help minimize financial leakages in oil and gas sectors since it will take into account not just the revenue derived from oil and gas but also monitor the spending of such revenues.
Although there are negative impacts of oil and gas on the environment, health and safety however there are also positive impacts of oil and gas as presented in the article: “Impacts of Oil and gas: Positive or Benefits of Oil and Gas“.
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