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Extreme Oil
Photo of oil refinery
The Journey The History The Science
Interactive Feature: Which oil extraction method is best? You decide using there pros and cons
On Land Offshore Tar Sands


Drilling On Land
Ever since petroleum became a valuable commodity near the end of the 19th century, people have sought to extract black gold from the earth by drilling deep into the ground.

Advantages: Drawbacks:
Stable Ground: Land operations are not susceptible to ocean storms and currents miles out at sea. Also, facility damages can often easily be repaired.

Spill Containment: Large containment dikes can help prevent an ecological disaster if a pipeline or storage tank ruptures.

Safety: Oil production facilities on land are closer to medical facilities and generally safer for workers. The working conditions are often less harsh and don't require employees to work difficult schedules.
Sabotage Risks: Attacks upon production facilities, in the Middle East and elsewhere, are more likely on land due to accessibility.

Environmental Damage: Land rigs require the construction of roads, pipelines, and sometimes even airports. Increased traffic to and from production and shipping facilities can heavily impact sensitive ecological areas.

Social Impact: Oil rigs and pipelines, and the increased human activity they bring, can alter wildlife behavior and the societies that depend upon the animals for their livelihood. Waste products from drilling can also cause adverse health effects in humans.



Learn how to extract oil from tar sands. Click here to continue.
Photo of truck in the tar sands
Trucks such as this work in the tar sands of Alberta, Canada. Click above to learn more.


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