Environmental Issues and Concerns in the Areas where Oil and Energy Projects are Operating:

The potential impact of the activities around an Oil and Gas Production site can be significant.  The impact will depend on factors like the amount of earth disturbed by the drilling of wells.  The size and number of wells drilled can also have a major effect.  The area of land occupied by the operations facilities and the time that the oil and gas project was working the site will have a direct effect on the wildlife and plant life.

Environmental Influences of:

  1. Exploration, surveys, testing and exploratory drilling:

Noise; primary sources would be the noise that earth-moving vehicles make, seismic surveys, drill rig operations and blasting.

Air Quality; emissions of dust thrown up by the earth moving equipment, other vehicles, and surveys will have an influence on the air quality.  Drill rig exhaust will not only affect the quality but also the smell of the air.  Emissions during this phase will not have a big influence on climate change.  The impact will depend on the duration, amount and location of the work.

Cultural Resources; that are buried are unlikely to be hindered.  Resources on the surface might be disturbed by traffic and ground clearing, etc.

Ecological Resources; will be affected minimally during exploration.  Wildlife might be disturbed by seismic surveys.  Surveys done during this time will help developers in placing the site and facilities of the project in a way that will cause a minimum of impact on the surroundings.

  1. Drilling and Development:

Waste and Hazardous Material Management; industrial and solid waste will be generated during the development phase.  Mostly this will not be hazardous.  The waste would likely be taken off-site to be disposed of.

Drilling waste; is another matter because it will include hydraulic fluids, used oil, spilled fuel and much more.  Adverse effects can occur if this hazardous waste is not managed and handled properly.

Health and Safety; drilling and development do have the risk of serious accidents happening and also injuries that are associated with oil and gas production operations.

Water Resources; water quality can degrade because of the increase of sedimentation, salinity, spills, etc.  Water depletion can also become a problem.  During drilling, water is used to keep dust under control, making concrete mixes, and in the drilling wells.  Drilling activities can also affect the flow of surface water.

Infographic by: frack-off.org.uk

There are lots of factors that can have an influence where an oil and gas project is underway.  However, these Energy sector companies have strict methods and processes to keep the influence they have on the environment and surrounding communities.  In certain ways they can also have a positive influence in the community, increasing revenue and helping to better the economy.