Oil spill cause and effect essays

Ingestion of oil or dispersants can cause gastrointestinal irritation, ulcers, bleeding, diarrhea, and digestive complications. These complications may impair the ability of animals to digest and absorb foods, which ultimately leads to reduced health and fitness. Absorption is when animals come into direct contact with oil. Absorption of oil or dispersants through the skin can damage the liver and kidneys, cause anemia, suppress the immune system, induce reproductive failure, and in extreme cases kill an animal. Fish and sea turtle embryos may grow more slowly than normal, leading to lower hatching rates and developmental impairments.

This commonly occurs among those species of wildlife that need to breathe air like manatees, dolphins, whales and sea turtles. Inhalation of these harmful materials can cause respiratory inflammation, irritation, emphysema, or pneumonia. Oil spills can also have indirect effects on wildlife by causing changes in behavior, namely: changes in foraging locations, increases in foraging time and disruptions to life cycles. Changes in foraging locations or the relocation of home ranges as animals search for new sources of food. If a spill causes direct mortality to the food resources of particular species, many individuals of this species will need to relocate their foraging activities to regions unaffected by the spill.

This leads to increased competition for remaining food sources in more localized areas. Increase in foraging time happens when there are increases in the amount of time animals must spend foraging. Animals may need to make longer trips to find food in unfamiliar areas and they may need to forage on less preferred food that takes more time to acquire or that is digested less efficiently. Decreases in diet diversity due to lower food availability may lead to reduced overall health.

Disruptions to natural life cycles may become apparent if particular life forms are more susceptible to the effects of oil than others. Eggs, larvae and juveniles of many species are more vulnerable to harmful effects from pollutants than adults. Changes in the relative numbers of individuals from different life stages within a species may lead to shifts in habitat use patterns which cause ripple effects up and down the food chain. One of the major effects of oil spill is seen on the economy. When precious crude oil or refined petroleum is lost, it affects the amount of petroleum and gas available for use.

This means that more barrels have to be imported from other countries. Then the process of cleaning the oil spill which requires a lot of financing. Their medical treatment has to be paid for and becomes the responsibility of the government. Putting all the methods of recovery into place and monitoring them takes away resources from other more important works and hits the economy in subtle but powerful ways.

The local tourism industry suffers a huge setback as most of the tourists stay away from such places. Dead birds, sticky oil and huge tar balls become a common sight. Due to this, various activities such as sailing, swimming, rafting, fishing, parachute gliding cannot be performed.

Does Oil Spill Damage Last Forever?

Industries that rely on sea water to carry on their day to day activities halt their operations till It gets cleared. The petroleum industry undertakes many measures to reduce the likelihood of oil spills. Proactive technology includes blowout preventers, which cut off the pump pressure in case of an accident, and increased hull strength on oil tankers.

These measures help to protect both the environment and the oil companies themselves, which often lose a great deal of profit and public image in the event of a spill. These recommendations focus on management support for spill prevention programs, commitment of sufficient resources to such programs, and commitments to meeting or exceeding regulatory standards, using redundant safety systems, discouraging risk taking, and establishing annual performance benchmarks.

Implementation of formal risk assessment and correction programs, and employee involvement, accountability, and performance incentives are also recommended. Security system inspections are recommended, as are written emergency procedures and drilling of those procedures. These recommendations stress regular and careful boat maintenance, knowledge of best management practices for fueling, oil changes, or overhauls, and responsible management and disposal practices for used oil and oily wastes.

This section also includes recommendations that marina operators implement effective runoff controls, provide technical assistance and education for their boat owners, and develop written agreements with those boat owners committing them to implement best management practices. It is recommended that employee involvement and communications are addressed, and redundant safety systems and annual performance benchmarks are recommended.


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Several international standards are recommended for certification of management policies and programs. Regarding watch practices, recommendations about covering standards for navigation watch, anchor watch, engineering watch and security rounds are included. Persons In Charge PICs of bunkering operations on both the receiving and delivering vessels or facilities should emphasize proper procedures and adequate communications during all phases of a bunkering operation, especially with regard to a pre-loading plan, a pre-transfer conference, voice and visual communications, emergency procedures, and safe access between vessels, or between a vessel and a facility.

PICs must ensure that the duties of all personnel involved in a bunkering operation are clearly defined and that training is provided. The creation of emergency response plans that entails oil transporters to have detailed written plans on what actions they will take if a spill occurs should always be encouraged. The Government should pay more attention to the activities of militants engaged in oil bunkering as some of the spills in the oil rich region occur due to this. In addition, Government should ensure that regulatory bodies have the authority to sanction oil companies who spill oil in the region.

More and stricter laws with stiffer penalties should be passed so that oil companies are more mindful of their activities and the spills that they cause. Moreover, a shift from the dependence on oil to other sources of revenue such as agriculture will make it more likely for stricter laws and stiffer penalties for organizations guilty of oil spills to be implemented.

This is to secure the enjoyment and protection of our marine wealth. Sarah Toms 15 August BBC News. Retrieved 15 July Holly K. Ober May Oil Spill Research. The fact that most recovery equipment and personnel are normally remotely located hinders a timely incident response, and freezing conditions at the incident site further inhibit recovery operations.

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Cause and Effect Examples

However, according to the Arctic Council Assessment of Oil and Gas , oil pollution in the Arctic is currently on a low level. This conclusion can hardly have included statistics on oil accidents among cruise ships in recent years. For the time period cruise ships on polar voyages committed 21 fuel spill incidents. There are currently inadequate techniques for recovering spilled oil in ice-covered environments.

Extract of sample "Kalamazoo River PCB content or Oil Spill"

The severity of contamination is not only dependent on the type of organisms exposed to oil, but also on the type and volumes of spilled oil, the speed of oil, weathering processes, oil combating measures taken, and the location of the spill. On the basis of the extreme conditions of the environment in the Arctic, responding to oil spills is a key challenge along the various sailing routes, especially where ice is present.

The AMSA study suggests that strong prevention must be of primary concern, while response measures, being both unreliable and untested, should be secondary. One of the main suggestions proposed was:.

Complaint Letter For Oil Spill

Therefore, Arctic states, in collaboration with the industry, must support enhanced funding, research, and technology transfer to prevent release of oil into Arctic waters. Transportation of oil and gas along parts of the NEP is expected to increase in the years ahead, particularly in the Barents Sea. There will always be a risk connected oil and gas activities and shipping in the Barents Sea. However, shipping contributes considerably more to the overall risk of acute oil pollution than the oil and gas industry.

Effects of Oil Spills | LoveToKnow

The Russian oil spill contingency response consists of two subsystems: state and private. However, the federal plan also requires support by special marine divisions and equipment from other regions, in the western part: from the Baltic and Black seas, and in the eastern part: from Nakhodka and Sakhalin.

In addition, the plan envisages request for rendering assistance in accordance with the Intergovernmental Agreement, in the western part of the Arctic: from Norway and Finland, and in the eastern part: from the U. Private systems include response from oil companies and operators of oil terminals on the NEP i. Varandey, Murmansk, Kandalaksha and Arkhangelsk.


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  • Currently, response systems of a majority of oil companies and operators of oil terminals in the Arctic are developed, but according to domestic legislation the owners and operators are only responsible for oil spill response within the zone of operation. Despite improvements of the equipment, the operative response systems are not sufficient in order to minimize the risk in such a huge region.

    Examples of Cause and Effect

    In addition, the federal Emergency and Rescue Managements need additional facilities, in order to increase the emergency response if any accident should occur. At present, such emergency measures lack the necessary state financials. Assistance from polar countries may be requested and obtained first of all from Norway and Finland in the west and from USA and Canada in the east. Equipment to the places of spills is delivered from large airports Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, Norilsk, Tiksi, Yakutsk and Pevek by helicopters and sea ships. These bases should include multi-purpose ships capable of ensuring readiness to emergency and rescue operations on the NSR.

    Currently, a satisfactory implementation of oil spill response on the NWP is absent. It has been found that oil slick coverage was approximately 2, square miles in the Gulf of Mexico region. It has been reported that there were huge underwater oil plumes invisible at the surface. On the 15th of July, , the gushing wellhead was capped, but the Deepwater Horizon platform released over 4. This fact means that as a result of the explosion, over 53, barrels of oil were spilled each day of the accident from July 10 till July 15 before the workers could cap the well.

    The experts state that for 87 days, the oil continued to flow to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, causing serious damage to the environment and local economy. In other words, crude oil was flowing into the estuaries, marshes and beaches of three states affected by the spillage — Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi Griggs, The U. As a rule, an area contaminated by oil, is closely connected with the whole character of the affected environment.

    The oil spillage from the Deepwater Horizon platform floating on the surface could evaporate through air and sun, spreading over the water surface. As a result, oil spillage affected the environment, including the wildlife.

    Effects of Oil Spills on Habitats

    The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that occurred in gives an opportunity to identify three major risk management issues, which can be assessed by experts as significant risk management lessons. Although the results of risk management assessment show that loss prevention measures in the case of the BP oil spill were in place to prevent the oil spillage starting and the proper cost containment steps were taken to manage the cost of the required clean-up operations, recovery procedures to promote business continuation, much time had been lost.

    Besides, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has raised serious risk management issues regarding the governance of organization involved in the case. Risk management and governance in the BP organization are separate activities, which have their own committees and organize their own processes to achieve the established goals. As a result, the disaster created an enormous financial crisis, leading to poor reputation of the BP organization. Now the organization needs to use the proper strategies aimed at restoring its reputation in order to successfully operate in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Based on the US federal government report that was issued in after investigation of the key causes of the disaster, the following failures were identified:. In the case discussed in this paper, the BP failed to avoid certain management errors that led to massive damage to the environment and caused considerable harm to people. The disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that occurred in was caused by certain management failures both by the organization the BP Company and its contractors Transocean and Halliburton.

    Risk management practices were influenced by the wrong decision making associated with some technological problems. According to the material presented in the course lectures, the risk management cycle involves several stages, which help an organization to manage risks: Identification, Quantification, Risk assessment, Risk treatment, Monitoring, Risk context.

    These stages are interrelated Business Risk Management Week 2, , p. Based on the established components of risk management process, it is possible to avoid negative consequences of disasters in all spheres of human activity, including oil and gas industry. In the Deepwater Horizon platform, many events led to the disaster because inadequate risk management practices were ineffective in that situation. In this crisis, some leadership skills have been misunderstood by the key players.

    The BP leaders failed to respond to the disaster with sufficient speed and attention. Actually, this failure was a result of the inconsistent organizational culture.