Hydrocarbons and pipelines

an oil rig in the ocean

Example of an oil rig which is extracting oil from the sea bed. google images

In today’s world there is a massive demand for oil and gas to keep the world running as we know it. This is all well and good however, large pockets of gas and oil are located under the sea bed and in order to extract them, oil platforms and other structures need to placed in the same location. This extraction of hydrocarbons takes place in and around areas containing cold-water corals such as in the North Sea and on the Norwegian Shelf (Freiwald et al. 2004). Davis and Kingston (1992) talk about the effects that drilling has on cold-water coral ecosystems such as chemicals and fluids used in the process, it is also mentioned that rock which is dislodged by the drill along with possible oil leakage could have an effect on the surrounded coral.

Freiwald et al (2004) talks about how cables and pipelines used for telecommunications and for the transport of gas and oil can cause damage to corals. The damage is caused in the initial laying of the pipes and cables, when laying the pipes and cables ships have to sail out and anchor at the correct position, as the anchors are usually quite large for a boat of such size it causes a lot more damage than the pipes and cables themselves (Freiwald et al 2004).

The positioning of platforms and drilling for gas and oil causes large amounts of damage to corals and their ecosystems and it is important that this is minimised to conserve them in the future.

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