The world economy is very much dependent on the exploration, production and distribution of oil and natural gas for addressing the natural demands associated with the energy. The global community would rely heavily on oil and gas supplies for enhancing the economical status and well-being of the nation (Husseien et al. 2015). The production of oil and gas contributes successfully towards “socio-economic development in areas of foreign exchange earnings”, “provisional job opportunities”, “enhanced water supply”, “sewerage and waste treatment” amongst others. However, the exploitation of Oil and Gas reserves has not always been without some ecological side effects. “Incidents of Oil spills”, “damage to aquatic life”, “emission of poisonous gases in air” and “terrestrial damage” are viable due to exploration, production and distribution of oil and natural gas.
The consequences have been mounting over time, despite the strides taken for controlling its detrimental environmental effects across the globe. The advent of environmental issues due to exploration, production of oil and gas industries portrays its experience at both local and global levels. The academic essay would highlight the pollution associated with production of oil and gas at various stages and the measures taken by the government and regulatory bodies to minimize its negative impact on the environment (Negri et al. 2016). There would be an establishment of “monitoring scheme” and “enforcement program” to ensure sustainability in areas of “social”, “economic” and “environmental concerns”. The discussion would also reflect on the implementation of an appropriate strategy, which would assist the oil and gas industries to identify the “perfect mix of .regulatory”, “co-regulatory”, “incentives” and “voluntary mechanisms” to meet the challenges of world energy demands.
The production and exploration of oil and gas plays an integral role enhancing economic status and satisfying the needs of the individuals in the society. Despite being of the most crucial energy source in the world, the consumption of petroleum has an enhancing demand for successful conduction of various industrial activities. Owing to the emerging demands of Oil and Gas Industries, potential environmental hazards are evidential in the form of water pollution. Oil and Gas production constitutes the major operation of the petroleum industry (Wang et al. 2015). More than 100 countries are involved with the production of Oil and Gas across the globe. For example, United States has more than “575000 crude oil wells”, “252000 gas wells “and “724 gas plants”(Harkness et al. 2015). The activities in the oil and gas industries include “preparation and preparation of well sites”, drilling, “crude oil and gas production”, “processing of onsite, and recovery processing”.
The flaring of poisonous gases such as “Carbon Dioxide”, “Carbon Monoxide”, “methane”, “Volatile Organic Carbons” and “Nitrogen Dioxide” takes active participation in exposing the human population and wild life with several health concerns. The flaring of gases often pollutes the atmosphere causing cloud rains that may affect the water sources. Aquatic pollution results from “production of water spills and leakages” “transport through pipelines”, trucks and ships”. The marine animals have endangered their life due to the emission of poisonous chemicals in water supplies from the oil and gas industries (Werner et al. 2015). When the Oil dissipates under the surface of beaches, it may pose a threat to the sustenance of marine animals like jelly fish, crabs etc. The marine creatures also serve as foods for other animals and human beings, thus affecting the cycle of food chain in a negative manner.
The emissions of poisonous gas and chemical ingredients from the oil and gas industries pose a detrimental impact on the human population. Contamination of fishing and hunting grounds may affect the tourism sector in a negative manner. The high Ph and salt content of certain drilling fluids and cuttings have a negative impact on fresh water resources. The presence of toxic chemicals and ingredients in driving water can cause health hazards to individuals. The contamination of water and food sources disturbs the ecological balance of the globe in a negative manner (Prpich, Coulon and Anthony 2015). Presence of oil and contaminated chemicals in water production tends to disturb the entire system, as Water is the necessity of one’s life. The clean-up operations of oil and gas industries may cause physical damage to the plants and animals residing near the coastal areas.
The processing of petroleum results in run offs of chemicals and other toxic wastes in to the water surface. The inclusion of oil and gas pipelines had stanched several rivers and lakes over the years, flooding the pastures and Greenland with toxic water sources. Furthermore, the bay areas and lagoons have been affected due to the negative impact of water pollution over the years. The health hazards to individuals often arise due to environmental degradation caused by water pollution in terms of damaged life stocks and chronic stomach diseases (Esterhuyse, Redelinghuys and Kemp 2016). The oil spills often hamper the usual working procedure of power stations and destination plants that need continuous supply of clear seawater for industrial purpose. Therefore, the wastes of oil and gas industries are having a detrimental impact towards the sustainability of ecological balance across the globe.
During the production of Oil and Gas, the release of oil automatically enhances the level of produced water. The fracturing of hydraulic fluids has a poisonous impact on grounded water (Son and Carlson 2015). The saltiness of the water does not make it appropriate for using in domestic and agricultural purposes. The presence of noxious compounds in produced water could harm the existence of human population and maritime creatures in a negative manner. The grounded water often gets poisonous when mixed with produced water due to “vehicular traffic” and “machinery operations” during maintenance. Contamination of water could occur due to application of chloride, which is aimed to reduce the dust particles. The presence of “sodium” in water could endanger the life of fishes (Wang et al. 2015). The underground firs often comprise of PAHs, which could pollute the “underground sources of drinking water”.
There is a constant threat of controlling water pollution due to the existence of oil and gas industries. Certain measurements could mitigate the challenges of water pollution affecting the maritime creatures and human population. There should be a control against discharging of wastewater in rivers or any other outlets. The industry must treat the contaminated water before releasing it to the water outlets (Jarvie 2012). Treatment of Water Pollution finds its application through effectiveness of several processes such as “neutralization”, “evaporation”, “separation of oil and gas”, “absorption of carbon and flocculation”. Sewage Treatment could also serve as one of the effective measurements for controlling water pollution. In accordance to this treatment process, the household water should be clear, so that it could be environmentally safe for the community. Another way of addressing water pollution is preventing the river water from pollution. The process of stopping contaminated water flow in the river is a costly process. Therefore, the oil and gas industries should stop throwing residual, chemical and toxic wastes into the river. Treatment of water before discharging is another of restricting water pollution. The industries must treat the water before discharging it into the river or sea surface. Chemical treatment could convert the toxic ingredients into harmless materials. The oil and gas industries must comply with the laws and regulations of water contamination acts.
The problem arises when the volume of produced water increases. In this process, the hydrocarbon resources decrease. The produced water from the exploration of oil and gas industry primarily dominates the wastages. The wastewater includes formation water, injection water and other technological water (Feenberg 2012). These waters contain the inorganic salts. Now days, this water are cleaned through using several technological ways. The oil and gas industry needs to take new initiatives in order to reduce the effect of exploration industrial wastages in the nature. The produced water of the industry causes contaminates the natural source of water (Forstner and Wittmann 2012). The new technology encourages the organization to improve the sustainability of the water resources in the nature. The new systems and technology provides enhanced development in the society. The need for change is a new technological development that suggests heavy consumption of the resources. In the modern days, the population is growing very fast and it is a vital issue of contamination (Hellawell 2012). Water is easily renewable resources of the nature. Maximum industries rely on the recycling technologies as it facilitates to reduce water abstraction from the nature. The water stress is mainly happened by the urban water management system. The efficient urban water management requires meeting global needs (Hirsch et al. 2010). Wastewater recycling is not popular in many places. The requirement of new approaches is driven by the need of sustainability. The process can be defined as follows:
- Access of clean water and sanitation
- Augment the use of local water resources
- impartiality of the energy
- Engaging more responsibility for nutrient management
- Financially stable utilities
The area of sustainability must involve economy, environmental and the society. The prime economical goal of the society is to provide financially stable utilities with sufficient resources for maintaining the infrastructure.
The sustainable goal can be achieved by utilizing some new technologies. Membrane filtration systems are a new technology for the water-reclamation systems. Micro and ultra filtration membrane of the filtration systems facilitate to pretreatment for RO. The solid residence times (SRT) can be increased by using the membrane filtration system (Huang et al. 2010). Moreover, it helps to complete the biological treatment along with the retention of pathogen. On the other hand, the Nanotechnology provides the higher performing membranes with less fouling characteristics. This advancement in the RO technology can be measured by the implementation of nanotechnology in the process. Brine water treatment is a well-known process of treating the industrial wastewater (Jarvie 2012). In the wastewater, several salts are dissolved. Through the engagement of Brine treatment, the industry could remove the salt from the wastewater. This treatment is typically optimized by reducing the volume of the final discharge for more economical discharge. Brine treatment is commonly used for treating the produced water from the natural gas extraction.
The monitoring and the control systems provide a sophisticates process of monitoring the process. The production and consumption of reclaimed water should be balance so that it should not exceed the storage capacity (Kelland 2014). Hence, the water production needs to be manages for maintaining the integrity of entire system. The local government must take some initiatives for providing the monitoring system to prevent the water contaminate. Ongoing water monitoring is an important process for the prevention of water pollution. The operational team must take the responsibilities for detecting the reasons of pollution (Kneese 2015). The staffs, directives and other members are required for the process of monitoring water pollution. The local authority needs to collect the water report from the agent on daily basis. Several environmental agencies have taken the responsibilities for reducing the water contaminates. The exploration of oil and gas industry has major effect on water.
On the contrary, it concludes that the exploration and production of oil and gas industries could contaminate the water supply in a negative manner. The production of oil and gas industries enhances the global economy, but simultaneously causes several hazards for human population and maritime creatures. The sustainability of ecology is identical to maintain the socio-economic aspects of the emerging nations across the globe. The contamination of water needs to be minimized, as it is the necessity of a living being. Polluted water could disturb the entire ecological balance, as water is required in almost every human engaging process. The industry could implement several water treatment processes such as “neutralization”, “evaporation”, “separation of oil and gas”, “absorption of carbon” and “flocculation” in order to restrict water pollution. The implementation of monitoring system and enforcement program probes for enhancement of environmental management for a sustainable ecology. Implementation of RO technology and membrane filtration would be helpful in controlling water pollution. It is impossible to restrict water pollution totally, however, the proposed measurements and implementation of technology could minimize the ill effects of water pollution.
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