Assignment focuses on the environmental impact & management study, critical analysis of issues on marine life.

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Petroleum has made the daily life of individuals easier but it has a huge amount of negative impact on air pollution as well as water pollution. Oil spills are considered one of the most severe causes behind harming the overall environment, especially the marine environment across the whole world.

This report will mainly focus on the impact of the petroleum industry on the marine environment. The EIA or Environmental Impact Assessment of the petroleum industry will be given major focus. This report will also concentrate on a critical analysis of various kinds of environmental issues, which are related to the consequences of the impact of the petroleum industry.  An evaluation of steps of environmental impact assessment screening as well as scoping will also be focused in this particular report. At the end of this report, various mitigation measures will be discussed in detail in order to deal with the situation.

EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) of the petroleum industry

As stated by Manahan (2017), the Environmental Impact Assessment or EIA is considered an assessment process in order to understand various environmental consequences, which may be either positive or negative, as well.  Along with the increasing amount of global population as well as increasing use of various energy consuming technologies, there is a huge amount of demand for petroleum across the whole world. 

As commented by Payne (2018), petroleum is considered one of the most important highly toxic materials. It can cause some irreparable harm to the overall oceans across the whole world. Apart from that human beings are also observed to get affected by the severe side effects of petroleum. It has been observed that various accidents with pipelines, tankers as well as oil wells can release a massive amount of petroleum into lands. As a result, this affects the marine ecosystem. According to some environmental experts, a huge amount of oil spill in an open ocean can be less harmful to the marine organisms compared to a smaller amount of oil spill near the shore. As commented by Betts et al. (2015), oil can destroy an insulating ability of almost all kinds of ocean creatures. In most of the cases, it has been observed that birds, as well as mammals, die from hypothermia without the capability of repelling water and insulating from cold water.  

Critical analysis and synthesis on the environmental issues (related to the impact of the petroleum industry)

Causes of marine pollution: It has been observed that most of the Cargo ships continue to discharge crude oil accidentally, and sometimes deliberately. This is considered to be one of the major reasons behind the pollution in the marine environment. As stated by Blanchard et al. (2014), another major reason behind harming the marine environment is dumping a huge amount of industrial wastes to the oceans. In most of the cases, such industrial garbage incorporates toxins which include various radioactive materials, mercury and many other pollutants. 

Effect of the oil spill: As stated by Manahan (2017), as soon as the oil is spilt into the marine environment, this becomes subject to a huge number of natural processes, which is known as weathering. It has been observed that oil can destroy the insulating capabilities of many fur-bearing mammals. Whenever hydrocarbons are spilled into the sea through the oil spills, there will be physical, biological as well as chemical changes in the marine environment. Duke (2016) has argued that the major effects of petroleum on the fauna are huge because of higher diversities of the marine organisms. The following can be considered as the major effects of petroleum on marine environment:

The direct process of contamination: It has been observed that petroleum can stick on fur and feathers, which can create difficulties in case of thermal isolation. Alteration of the seafloor: Fricko et al. (2016) have argued that whenever petroleum is placed on the seafloor it can lead to an alteration of the overall seafloor. Modification of exchange of gas: Petroleum sheet has the ability to reduce the total content of oxygen in the water. This can lead to the death of many fishes as well as plankton. Intoxication: Petroleum can lead to poison various marine fauna. This can result in genetic disruption on the fishes and many marine mammals. This intoxication process can also affect the human being whenever they tend to feed such organisms. Increase in infection: As argued by Silva et al. (2014), once petroleum is stuck to the feathers of birds, not can lead to increase the amount of infection. Whenever those birds will try to clean their feathers by themselves, they will swallow the petroleum. Destruction of sorcerers of food: Jafarinejad (2016) has argued that an increase for petroleum in the marine environment can lead to a significant amount of reduction in food sources of the environment. Because of this, this will affect almost all the creatures across the whole world negatively. Reduction in fertility, reproduction of flora and fauna: One of the most significant effects of petroleum on the marine environment is that it will cause a reduction in the fertility and reproduction ability of, any creatures associated with the marine environment (noaa.gov, 2018). 

The behaviour of an oil spill: Mainly saltwater bodies are referred to the marine environments. Recent statistics have shown that around 3.2 millions of oil is released from various sources into a marine environment. In most of the cases, such kinds of oil come from industrial activities and general shipping. An increase in the level of hydrocarbons can even lead to mortality. Zooplankton, which is known as one of the important resources of food, especially for baleen whales, cannot survive because of increase for petroleum on the seafloor. Sea birds, coral reefs, fishes and various marine plants, as well as marines, will get affected by an increase in the amount of crude oil in sea surface.

Transportation of petroleum products: Lan et al. (2015) have argued that in most of the cases the oil spills occur during transportation of various petroleum products. Transportation of crude oil can lead to a large number of oil spills in many oceans across the whole world. Usually, it has been observed that oil spills occur when equipment fails or breaks down. The oil tanker can be stuck on a shallow land and when they begin to drive that tanker again, the oil may start to leak into the sea.

Screening and scoping process (addressing environmental issues)

As stated by Prideaux and Prideaux (2016), screening and scoping are considered to be two important stages in relation to a complete environmental impact assessment. Screening is a process to determine whether an individual project needs a complete scale Environmental Impact Assessment or not. In this particular case, it can be said that pollution in the marine environment because of petroleum industry can be considered as an emerging issue across the whole world. This issue requires proper attention globally. In order to lead to an effective screening process, there must be a balance between the development process and the overall marine environment.It will have the following important steps:


As commented by Xue et al. (2015), In order to deal with the environmental issues related to the impact of petroleum industries on the marine environment, proper actions are needed to take immediately. Actions must be associated with proper mitigation measures and mitigation projects.

By whom: 

Environmental experts, environmental scientists or environmentalist will take necessary actions to mitigate the environmental issues related to oil spills. They have proper knowledge as well as experiences in this particular context.

To where: 

The actions will be taken on the respective environment. In this case, the particular environment, which has been taken into consideration, is the marine environment.

As commented by Radovic et al. (2014), scoping is considered to be a particular procedure which was introduced in order to do the environmental assessment in a significant way.  In this particular stage of the assessment process of environmental impacts, major issues, which are most important, are recognised and examined in detail. The unimportant elements, which are not at all necessary for the overall assessment process, are also eliminated in this particular stage. In this case, it can be said that the most important fact, which is required to identify at first, is the major sources of pollution of the marine environment. Once it can be identified, it will be easier for environmental experts to reduce the negative impact of the petroleum industry on the marine environment.

Explanation of Mitigation process adopted by the petroleum refineries

It has been observed that any kind of recovery process is related to mitigate the negative impact of petroleum on marine environment can proceed faster in the warmer climates as well as on rocky shores than that of cold climates. The following can be considered as some of the most important recovery processes:

Sorbents: As stated by Abdel-Shafy and Mansour (2016), these are some well-known sponges, which can collect oil from the sea surface. The environmental experts of various countries can utilise such sponges in order to reduce oil components from the sea surface.

Booms: These are considered some floating barriers, which are mainly used to clean oil from the water surface. These are also helpful in terms of preventing slicks to spread.

Skimmers: These are known as some useful boats, which can remove oil from water surface of seas. Dispersants: Dispersants actually act as some detergents, which can carry out oil from water. This can also help in improving the quality of water. Bioremediation: As stated by Cordes et al. (2016), this is actually a process in which bacteria and many other microbes are introduced to the marine environment in order to help in the oxidation of the oil.

Apart from considering the above controlling measures, there are some other ways to protect the marine environment from the negative impact of the petroleum industry as well. All of the tankers of crude oil will have to be checked properly before the beginning of the transportation providers. All oil tankers must have some kind of radar systems in order to improve the process of navigation. As stated by Tornero and Hanke (2016), all of the members who are involved in the ship crew will have to be properly trained as well as experienced so that they can take proper action in case of occurring of any oil leakage. 

Role of petroleum refineries in the mitigating process:

It can be said in this context that the petroleum refineries can play one of the most important roles in order to incorporate the mitigation measures.  One if the most relevant thing that the petroleum refineries can adopt is to organise a complete beach clean up. This can help to improve the natural quality of the marine environment (noaa.gov, 2018). The petroleum refineries can also reduce all kinds of rubbish as well as garbage in order to mitigate the environmental issues related to the impact of the petroleum industry on the marine environment. In can be said in this connection that there is a need to take care of the local stream as well Occasionally sticks, which are caused by a spill, are removed in terms of a controlled burn. All of the workers of petroleum refinery can burn the freshly spilt petroleum oil along with fireproof booms in order to contain the oil.  


From the overall analysis, it can be concluded that in order to analyse the severity of the impact of the petroleum industry on the marine environment it is important to do a proper assessment of the environment. This kind of assessment process is famously known as the process of EIA or Environmental Impact Assessment. The associated governments of each country across the whole world are needed to take care if mitigating the impact of petroleum industries on marine environment. This can also be concluded in this context that the negative impacts of the oil spill may be far-reaching from socio-economic as well as environmental perspectives. In case, immediate mitigating measures are not taken into consideration by the petroleum refineries as well as the associative governments along with the environmental extras, it will be harmful to the overall environment.

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