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Unformatted text preview: Trends and Challenges Petroleum is a growing market and the uses one can use out of petroleum are endless. With the use of petroleum there are factors that come into play. Some of these can be from the environmental damages it causes or the fact that there is a limited supply. The challenges associated with becoming involved in a volatile industry such as this one are abundant, but the potential earnings and outcome are very high. Environmental Issues One of the biggest concerns with petroleum or any natural source of energy is the effect it has on the environment. With petroleum, the problem is oil spills. Over the last decade there have been oil spills with the most recent being from the BP oil spill; Coy states “ Oil from the last well it drilled--not Tiber, but a much shallower, less complex job called Macondo--is spewing out of control from the seafloor, with perhaps 3 million gallons released at last estimate. A swath of the Gulf about the size of Delaware is covered by an iridescent, rusty orange sheen” (Coy). The risks are high with petroleum and can be devastating to wildlife if there is a leakage of some sort. Petroleum is known as one of the biggest pollutants and pollutes the environment in various ways. “The transportation sector produces slightly more than 30% of the greenhouse gas emissions from the United States, with light-duty vehicles—automobiles and light trucks— accounting for more than half of the sector's emissions” (Plotkin). Driving is preferred way of transportation in America and with so many people on the streets; the amount of emissions from all the cars contribute to air pollution. Not only is there the chance of the oil contaminating the ocean, but also there is a possibility of finding an oil well on land. If drilling were to occur on land, not only there be a chance of it seeping into a river or underground water well, it would also destroy the soil of where the drilling occurred. Drilling in Alaska The United States main source of petroleum comes from importing from the Middle East. What most people do not know is that there is plenty of petroleum in America, primarily in Alaska. When conducting in interview with Herman Pinto who works at Valero, the question we asked was if drilling in Alaska is important for this industry to succeed in the future; Mr. Pinto’s response was: “Yes, but it is not politically correct to do so at this time. Alaska has large reserves of crude oil both inland and offshore that would reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil. Sometime in the near future the US population will need to make some tough decisions. Presently, I believe we have a weak energy policy, exhibit an anti-business rhetoric and “tree hugging” mentality while at the same time wondering why the price of oil and gas keeps going up. Americans need to understand how supply and demand works. If we restrict supplies of crude, the price of oil is going to increase.” Alaska has an enormous amount of petroleum, some still yet to be found. However, as Alaska has an enormous amount of petroleum, some still yet to be found....
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- Spring '11
- Peak oil