Oil Spills Essay

398 Words2 Pages
oil spills Crude oil is a major energy provider for the world today; but when accidents happen, crude oil becomes a major pollutant for our world. An oil spill is an accident that occurs when a transport vehicles, oil rigs, pipe lines, or tankers have malfunctions and release oil into the surrounding environment affects the surrounding area. There are two types of oil spills: those occurring on land, and those in water. Land spills can usually be contained and cleaned up easily, while oil spreads and becomes more dangerous in ocean spills. Oil spills have a number of effects on the environment and economy. On a basic level, oil will damage waterways, marine life and plants and animals on the land. An oil spill can also ruin the infrastructure and economy of a particular area with the long-term effects being felt for generations. Cleaning an oil spill is very expensive and the costs get spread to government agencies, non-profits, and the oil transport company itself. There is no set science for an oil spill clean-up. Every time an oil spill occurs, the public loses faith in the oil companies' ability to control this dangerous but needed product. Oil spill clean-up can be done in several ways. One process that a crew may choose is containment and skimming. In this process, long, buoyant booms which float on the water and a skirt that hangs below the water contain the slick and keep the oil from spreading out. This makes it easier to skim oil from the surface, using boats that suck or scoop the oil from the water and into containment tanks. Larger slicks may call for a process that uses sorbents, large sponges that absorb the oil from the water, to dispose of the oil. In the most severe cases, clean-up crews may set the oil on fire in a process called in situ burning, but this produces toxic smoke, and probably would not be used in a
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