RPT - Oil Spills, Dwindling Reserves May Force Closure Of US Offshore Production - Expert

RPT - Oil Spills, Dwindling Reserves May Force Closure of US Offshore Production - Expert

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 13th October, 2021) Dwindling oil reserves and costly spills could eventually lead to the shutdown of offshore production in California and elsewhere in the United States, Ronald S Tjeerdema, professor with the University of California at Davis, told Sputnik.

The latest spill, possibly caused by a tear in a pipeline owned by Texas company Amplify Energy, was first reported on October 1. As a result, from 25,000 to 132,000 gallons of oil spilled into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California near Los Angeles. The causes of the incident are being investigated.

"There needs to be a closer consideration of costs versus benefits with continued offshore drilling in California. The deposits are old and do not produce at levels they once did, so the benefits of what they do contribute may be outweighed by the costs of potential future spills," Tjeerdema, distinguished professor of the Department of Environmental Toxicology and Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute, said.

With the rapid shift to greener energy sources, the expert continued, "it may only be a matter of time until the shift in the energy market forces the closure of offshore operations, both in California and nationwide."

The professor also suggested a set of measures that could be taken to ensure environmental safety in the sector including better regulation of such activities as infrastructure quality, extraction, and transport operations, and ultimately a complete shift away from fossil fuel.