Oil in Alaska
Human Engineering Feats
Oil is a precious commodity and the companies that exploit this non
renewable resource will go to great lengths to gain access to oil, no
matter where it is located on earth. Oil
exploration projects are
carried out on an annual basis and the increasing use of technology
has meant that there is no place on earth that can’t now be
Read case study 7, page 98&99
Energy and the
Oil in Alaska. Wider
World. On your study sheet
enter a title, your name and form and draw a sketch map showing
the location of Alaska as well as a brief history of this particular
Diagram B shows some of the problems and concerns that
had to be overco
me in order to construct this pipeline. Sketch the
‘close up’ map of the area of Alaska that the pipeline traverses
including all of the features that hindered the oil companies in their
Make a list of the Physical Prob
lems in order of their
=most serious, 8 = least serious) under the
corresponding title. Do the same for the Environmental concerns.
What types of organisations would have taken a keen
interest in this particular development?
What are the main oil
companies that you know of? Answer on case sheet provided.
What is permafrost?
With the aid of diagrams, explain what design
modifications have been made in order to combat some of the
problems and concerns that a
re particular to this region.
Oil in Alaska
The Environmental Impact (Human Error)
All the precautions taken by the oil companies involved in the
Valdez pipeline project could not prevent an accident
that is still affecting the environment 15 years after its
. Read the information on the oil spill on pages 100
(Wider World, Waugh). Complete a fact box detailing the major
facts and figures associated with this accident on you
r study sheet.
. What were the physical dangers associated with
transporting oil from the port of Valdez?
. Produce a flow diagram detailing the events leading up to
. Using the information collected so far and figure
101, categorise the effects of the disaster under the following
headings: Environment. Animals (land based). Sea Based Mammals
& Fish. Local Economy. National Economy.
. You are a reporter for a national television organisation
e been asked to produce research notes for a programme
highlighting whether oil production should go ahead in this
ecologically sensitive area. Use the arguments ‘for’ and ‘against’ oil
production in Alaska (Fig D p101). Produce a report including all the
facts and figures but concluding in one of two ways.
….we all need to use the resources and they will run out
eventually, accidents will happen.
….we cannot afford another disaster on the scale of the Exxon
Valdez, we need to protect and conserve t