Deep Oil Teacher Sheet

Deep Oil Teacher Sheet


Students should use the resources on the Deep Oil Esheet to help them answer the questions on this sheet.

What are some of the risks involved in offshore oil drilling?
Some of the risks involved include:

  • Harm to fish, crab and marine mammals caused by seismic surveys.
  • Contamination of fish and pollution of marine waters caused by drilling operations.
  • Oil spills from platforms, underwater pipelines and/or tankers.
  • Interference with commercial and subsistence fishing activities.

In addition to these risks, students may also mention the very real risk of loss of life when/if an accident occurs on an offshore oil rig. Then there are the economic costs that can often by the result of drilling for oil in the ocean as well as the environmental costs associated with burning the fossil fuels obtained from the ocean.

What are some of the benefits involved in offshore oil drilling?
The benefits of offshore oil drilling that seem to be mentioned the most are economic in nature. It is believed that if the U.S. does more offshore oil drilling, there will be an economic benefit that would outweigh the costs. In the Reason Magazine article, the author estimates that the net benefits of producing offshore oil would come to $967 billion while the net costs would come to $332 billion.

In addition to these economic benefits, students may argue that there is a national security benefit as well.

Are there any risks or benefits that you learned about that were surprising to you? If so, which ones?
Answers to this question will vary. Encourage your students to explain their answers.

Think about the sources for the articles you read, in each case, who are the groups involved? Do you think that the type of group had an impact on how it viewed the risks and benefits of offshore oil drilling? Why?
Answers to these questions will vary. Encourage your students to explain their answers.

This teacher sheet is a part of the Deep Oil: The Technology, Risks, and Benefits of Offshore Oil Drilling lesson.

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