Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Reducing the Risk of Disaster

Oil and gas production may be a profitable industry, but it does come with an immense share of risks and danger. There are many risks involved with oilfield drilling equipment and these can have a huge impact, not only on the environment, but also on the workers and surrounding mammal life as well. Let us take a look at the different risks present.
While many of us would not like to believe it, oil drilling can harm the environment as it a source of waste. A leak in the oilfield equipment can cause the fluids used in the drillers, which are made from oil based mud, to discharge into the environment. The mud contains mineral oil and diesel fluid, both of which are harmful to the environment. Companies are conducting endless amounts of research to create environment friendly fluids.
Oil spills that take place from transportation vehicles or from the oil well itself can wreak havoc on the environment. Also, it is time consuming and extremely expensive, amounting in millions of dollars. Oil spills can have a disastrous effect on wildlife. Birds, different types of fish, sharks and even sea lions can die from ingesting oil into their systems.
Oil well workers are always on the alert, for it is their quick thinking and action that can stop an oil leak or explosion. And the effects of an oil spill on human beings can be immense. A person may end up suffering from respiratory problems, chest pain, dizziness, coughing, vomiting and headaches. This tends to happen when the body is exposed to chemicals that get released in an oil spill. Scientists are still assessing the impact of oilfield drilling equipment leaks and oil spills on human beings as it is difficult to distinguish common illnesses from toxic symptoms. This can lead to DNA damage in later life.
So what can one do to reduce the number of risks involved? One can:
·         Place absorbent materials around the equipment to prevent the oil from reaching drains.
·         Concrete curbing built around the oilfield equipment can prevent leakage and buy the cleanup crew time to do their job.
·         Use drain inlet covers to prevent the oil from being discharged into the environment. Drain plugs can also be used.

Such and similar methods can help us to reduce the risks of oil leaks and spills and their impact on the environment.


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