Compose a 1250 words assignment on the effects of petroleum on dry land. Needs to be plagiarism free! The discovery of fossil fuels or petroleum-related products has revolutionized human life. Even though science and technology developed a lot, it failed to develop a feasible alternative energy source for petroleum products. Even though solar energy and nuclear energy were proposed as alternate energy sources for petroleum products, the technology developed so far for exploiting these resources is complex and expensive. In other words, till science and technology succeeded in devising new cheap and simple methods to exploit alternative energy sources, fossil fuels or petroleum products may not lose its importance in human history.
Even though petroleum products are assisting human life in one way, it is causing severe damages to human life in many other ways. Land, water, and air are polluted immensely when petroleum products were extracted or used. Oil spills are common accidents that destroy the eco system in many land and water areas. For example, Daniel et al (2006) have mentioned that “between 1976 and 1990, oil companies in Nigeria witnessed a total of 2,796 oil spills. An estimated total quantity of 2,105,393 barrels of oil was spilled on land, coastal, and offshore marine environments” (DANIEL et al, 2006, p.111). This paper briefly analyses the effect of petroleum on dry land.
The Effects of Petroleum on Dry Land
The problem of pollution by petroleum hydrocarbons is very evident. Leakages from oil wells, lands contaminated from oil spills, sludge, and drill cuttings are the major contributors to this problem. If not managed properly, these sources of petroleum pollutants can lead to contamination of water and biological resources, where serious health threats can become a reality and even more difficult to handle (Jaggernauth et al, 2001).
If spilled over a region of land, petroleum can cause problems to the plant life and human life in different ways. The soil will lose its ability to absorb water and hence the plant life could be seriously affected. “Heavier oil with a high viscosity rate penetrates slowly” (The Detrimental Effects of Oil Spills on Our Environment, 2009)
Daniel et al (2006) have pointed out that if fire caught on spilled oil tar mat oily scum could be formed which may prevent soil aeration and water infiltration into subsoil layers.