Not a Good Year for the Oil Industry

Sep 5th, 2010 | By | Category: Featured Articles, News

After an incredibly hot August, life is returning to normal for most of us. The kids are in their nurseries and settling into the start of the school year, and my newly married brother-in-law with his gorgeous wife, is well on his way to enjoying marital bliss. It was a wonderful but hectic summer and I for one, am glad to have some normalcy back. With hope that the temperatures are becoming more moderate now, I began to think that life in general would also be calming down – at least for some of us.

This was far from the case in the Gulf of Mexico a few days ago. Another oil rig, owned by Marina Energy caught fire, sending its 13 member crew into the sea with life vests and all, waiting for two hours or so, to be rescued. This disaster, I think, has put the “cherry on the top” for the American public living around the Gulf. One would expect another event, even miniature in comparison to BP’s oil catastrophe, not to be taken lightly.  As AP reported, a graduate student said “It’s unbelievable. They should finally stop drilling in the Gulf. They should shut down all the drilling out there and not give permission to do anymore. They’ve shown that it’s just unsafe.”

This attitude is not only expressed by residents, but by politicians and lawmakers alike. Rep. Frank Pallone, a New Jersey Democrat said, “How many accidents are needed and how much environmental and economic damage must we suffer before we act to contain and control the source of danger – offshore drilling?”

Panic aside, if one would step back for just a minute, there are 3,400 oil platforms operating in the Gulf of Mexico. Together, they supply about one third of all of America’s domestic oil. Apart from the economic ramifications of shutting down all these platforms, and sending all the thousands of employees home (causing another economic disaster in America); how would America cope without the required petroleum?

Now I’m all for environmental protection. I see it as a vital necessity and global priority. I also think that in this technologically advanced era, certainly we could come up with new ways to live, without the need for oil. However, until that time occurs, when oil is made useless – we are going to need that oil (unless everyone reverts back to traveling by horseback and steamships).

Everyone is in a state about the recent events – and understandably so. The ecological damage that has occurred this year to the Gulf of Mexico is enormous. But as I have stated, destroying the oil industry is not going to help us either. A compromise surely can be reached to suit everyone’s needs.

Besides the ocean life of the Gulf, there is one group of people I do feel sorry for – the public relations and communications professionals working for the oil and petroleum industry worldwide. It is clear from the recent events that these disasters have caused damage not only to the ecology, but to world opinion. The next couple of months are going to be critical to restoring the public’s faith in the necessity of their industry and rebuilding trust in the safety standards of oil platforms worldwide.

Good luck to them…

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