Thursday 1 October, 2009.
Assessment – Exploitation Of ‘New’ Energy Sources
Referring to examples, assess the economic, political and environmental impacts of the exploitation of ‘new’ energy sources.
‘New’ energy sources are quantities of oil and gas in difficult and sensitive areas. Increasing energy insecurity, the urgent need for new fossil fuels as current supplies run low, technological advances and the fact that oil prices have now risen mean exploiting these resources is a viable proposition. However, there are many economic, political and environmental advantages and costs of obtaining this oil and gas.
The Arctic region is an area which contains these ‘new’ energy sources. According to the United States Geological Survey 25% of the worlds unexploited oil and gas reserves are is this region. Fossil fuels have never been exploited in this particular area before. In addition, there are tar sand deposits in Canada. Tar sands are naturally occurring mixtures of sand or clay and water, and a very dense viscous form of petroleum called bitumen. Containing 180billion barrels of oil, second only to Saudi Arabia’s conventional oil reserves, the area is now being dug up.
The Arctic and Canada tar sands have many economic benefits and costs of exploiting their ‘new’ energy reserves. With the urgent need for new resources and as China and India demand more oil to fuel their rapid economic growth, the price per barrel has spiralled upwards, in mid-2008 prices soared to $147 per barrel. In the Arctic oil would only be $70 per barrel which makes it economically viable. Many countries would be desperate to buy this therefore the nations that own it would make an incredibly amount of money. However, drilling oil and gas from underneath the ocean in such a cold climate is quite a challenge and would be expensive. New machinery would have to be developed which again would cost money. Canada’s tar sands could meet 16% of North America’s demand for oil by 2030...