Sustainability generations to come. Background and location of







Sustainability of the Oil Industry

Daniyal Hasnain


Jan. 19, 2018


Canada is rich with many natural resources. Many
types of industries are available in Canada. This report explores the oil
industry. Questions such as the location of the oil, importance of oil to the
Canadian economy, a method of extraction, the negative environmental impacts of
oil and ways to lessen the impacts and make this industry more sustainable,
have all been thoroughly answered in this report. The oil industry in Canada is
expected to continue growing, however if we do not start using alternative ways
to replace oil, then we will end up consuming every drop of the oil left in the
Earth and risking all the future generations to come.


















Background and location of Oil in Canada

            Oil is a non-renewable natural
resource found underground in many parts of the world. The oil industry was
developed around 200 years ago. Oil formed hundreds of millions of years ago.
Marine animal and plant remains fall onto the sea floor, pile up into thick
layers covered with sand and silt. Eventually the weight leads to the
compression of these layers and oil is formed.  Being a natural, non-renewable resource, oil
will one day run out. “Given that the world consumes about 86 million barrels of
crude oil per day, it would be easy to conclude we’ll run out of oil in 55
years”, according to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy.  Scientists argue weather this statement is accurate.
However, unless we find an alternative to oil, we will soon use up all of the
Earth’s oil. Oil is usually found in geological structures that act as traps
and prevent oil from rising to the surface. Drill rigs and seismic surveys are
methods of finding oil Canada is known for importing, exporting and producing
oil. They transport oil using tankers and pipelines. Calgary, Alberta is
Canada’s largest oil producer. They have made $2.7 million of income from this
industry. There are more than 140 companies that supply clean technology
products for oil. So far we have come to the conclusion that the transporting
and harvesting of oil is a slow and costly procedure that heavily pollutes the


Importance of Oil to the Canadian Economy

            Canada being the 5th largest
oil producer in the world, has an over whelming amount of oil related jobs, and
pays a lot of tax to the government, both these reasons greatly contribute to
Canada’s economy. The oil industry is active in 12 out of 13 provinces in
Canada. Oil is found in Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, North West
Territories, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Manitoba,
Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. 
This industry is known to employ over 500 000 workers in Canada. These
jobs are difficult and pay out a high salary. There are thousands of companies
dedicated to manufacture products such as safety equipment, pipeline and tanker
services, plastics, heating, fuel and everything concerning oil. The taxes,
royalties and investments from oil aids Canada’s economy greatly. The oil
industry is known to pay billions for tax and royalties annually. This tax is
used for roads, schools, infrastructure, child care, security, national defense
and healthcare. The investments of oil companies support jobs and businesses
and make Canada economically better. They also increase the labour
productivity. Once the labour productivity has increased, there are more goods
and products being manufactured. This increases the GDP and results in the
growth of the economy. Overall the oil industry offers hundreds of thousands of
jobs and leads to billions in tax money, which is economically beneficial for
all of Canada.






Extraction and Exploitation of Oil

            Oil is extracted and exploited in
many ways, extracted from non-flowing wells and exploited to make fuel.
Non-flowing wells do not have enough natural pressure to force oil up to the
surface. In this case, electric or gasoline pumps may be used to extract the
oil. The following steps describe how these pumps are used. A sucker rod is
attached to the pump, the pump is then pushed up and down to create a suction
that draws oil through the well. Some oil reservoirs are found underwater, in
which off-shore oil platforms are used. Oil is drilled from these platforms
using tubes connected to ocean floor. Then it is stored into tankers, put into
barrels and later on burned or exported elsewhere. Once the oil has been
harvested it is used in many ways. The most popular use of oil, is fuel
(gasoline, diesel and aviation fuels). To convert oil into fuel it is refined
by heating up the oil until it boils. Then it is separated into different
containers of liquids and gases. Then it goes through a desulfurization process
to eliminate unwanted chemicals. After the refining stage, the fuel is
transported through pipelines to a refiner’s terminal or wholesaler. Lastly,
sold to fuel companies and used all around the world. Fuel is used in all
vehicles such as cars, planes, trucks and buses. Air, ground or water travel,
all use fuel. In the U.S., 15.4 million barrels of fuel were used at a daily
basis! In conclusion, oil is mostly used in order to create fuel from being
harvested from non-flowing wells.





Negative Effects on the Environment by Oil

            Oil causes plenty of negative effects
to the environments, effects such as air and water pollution. Oil must be burnt
to produce gasoline and the other types of fuel. Since oil is made from the
remains of million year old marine animals and plants, it emits plenty of
dangerous and toxic chemicals that directly affect the air we breathe. Worldwide
there have been over 80 million cars sold in all time, all these vehicles
greatly contribute to air pollution. In fact 50-90% of all air pollution has
proven to be caused by cars. Whenever gasoline is produced, it releases the
following harmful gases: Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxide, Carbon Monoxide,
Carbon Dioxide and Unburned Hydrocarbons. All these toxic gases lead to the
weakening of the Ozone Layer and cause an over whelming amount of air











Water Pollution

Another effect on the environment caused by oil, is
water pollution. Many oil reservoirs are found underwater so people have to
drill into the sea floor in order to extract the oil. This has led to the
creation of over 6500 off-shore platforms. These are gigantic structures that
either float or are fixed onto the sea floor. There are large tubes that
connect to the oil reserves and extract all the oil. However this method leads
to tiny leaks and malfunctions which cause water pollution. In addition,
whenever oil is transported via tanker, it tends to lead to dreadful oil spills
which poison fish. Thousands of fish die every year due to oil spills. Later on
these poised fish are eaten in restaurants. That tells us that oil spills not
only endangers fish, they also endanger humans. In fact, on April 20th, 2010,
there was an explosion in the Deepwater Horizon near the gulf coast of Mexico.
It killed 11 people and left 17 injured. “The whole rig was vibrating and shaking, it’s like we
walked straight into hell” said one of the fortunate survivors.  During the
blast over 4.9 million barrels of oil were dumped into the Gulf Coast of Mexico.
“You could
taste the fumes, that god awful taste in your mouth,” he said. “It
was hard to breathe. The oxygen was being sucked out of the living quarters”. This disaster lasted for 87 days and killed over 800
000 birds and 160 000 sea turtles. There was also a 51% decrease in dolphins in
the Louisiana Bay. Over 8 000 – 12 000 workers were left unemployed. The United
States paid over $20 billion to reach an arrangement to end all civil and
penalty claims made against the owners of Deepwater Horizon. Overall, oil is
the main cause of air and water pollution, oil tends to lead to horrible and
unforgettable disasters.



Deepwater Horizon







How to Lessen Impact of Oil on the Environment

            To lessen the impact of oil on the
environment and ensure long term sustainability we can prohibit oil extraction
from the ocean, introduce eco-friendly energy and discover alternative ways of
heating. By ensuring that there is none to a little amount of oil from the
ocean we can lessen the impact of this resource on the environment. Since oil
spills cause majority of the water pollution we can introduce better pipeline
management. This could prevent billions of dollars from being wasted to cleanse
water of oil. Secondly, by introducing eco-friendly energy and trying to
replace oil we can greatly lessen the impact of oil. It’s true, a small amount
of oil can produce a large amount of energy and fuel. However both these uses
are highly dangerous to the environment. We must use a flowing or renewable
source of energy. These prove to be costly however they are worth the money.
Creating wind turbines, solar panels and more hydro pumps, we can limit the use
of oil. Lastly, finding an alternative way of heating is another way to lessen
the natural impact of oil on the environment. 44% of U.S. petroleum is used for
heating. Using Geothermal Systems, Pellet Stoves, Solar Heating System, and
Hybrid Solar Air Containers can greatly limit the oil used to heating our
homes. In conclusion, to ensure the long term sustainability of oil we must
prohibit underwater oil extraction, use other methods of energy and find alternative
ways to heat our dwellings.







            There is one truth about oil, it’s
running out. If we cannot find a way to replace this resource, soon none of it
will remain. Oil is extremely important to the economies of every country. Using
this resource for fuel and heat will only quicken the depletion of oil. Drilling
it out of the ocean will only endanger animals and poison the air we breathe. We
must replace oil in order to ensure long term sustainability. Without oil,
economies worldwide will plummet and the entire world will be forced to adapt
to the imminent threat we may face that comes from the depletion of oil.