At some point in our daily activities, we all draw upon a reserve of one or more of earthsâ€™ natural resources; One of the most crucial of these being crude oil. It and its derivatives are used as primary sources of energy and thus, crude oil it is constantly in high demand. In order to meet this demand in the most economical fashion, oil companies have made offshore drilling into a common practice. However, offshore drilling is devastating to the environment in several ways. As a result of the equipment and methods used to extract the oil, high levels of pollution are released into the atmosphere, disturbing nearby ecosystems. Secondly, the high level of drilling is consistently depleting the earthâ€™s supply of many natural resources. Furthermore, organisms and animals in the areas surrounding the drilling are susceptible to many of the negative side effects of the process. Thus, it is evident that the negative environmental impacts of offshore drilling greatly outweigh any possible economic benefits. .
Crude oil is a very important natural resource. It is defined as being a fossil fuel. Thus, it is the product of decades old decay of sea plants and animals and is found in abundance in very old sea beds. Crude oil is a hydrocarbon, which means it contains hydrogen and carbon. These hydrogen-carbon bonds contain within them a lot of energy and so, through a refining process, crude oil can be used to produce many high-energy compounds such as fuels, namely gasoline. Crude oil is also a rich source of many other natural occurring elements besides hydrogen and carbon. Examples of these are Nitrogen, Oxygen and Sulfur. It is these qualities of crude oil that make it one of the most highly demanded resources in the world.
Crude oil accounts for 40% of all energy usage ; therefore, it is a major import and export product throughout the world. The major producers of crude oil are Saudi Arabia, USA, Russia, Iran, Mexico, Venezuela, China, Norway, Canada, and Nigeria .