Some Effects of Pollution Control On the Petroleum Industry
- C.G. Cortelyou (Mobil Oil Corp.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- February 1969
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 143 - 147
- 1969. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 4.6 Natural Gas, 4.3.4 Scale, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 5.7.5 Economic Evaluations, 6.5.5 Oil and Chemical Spills, 6.5.1 Air Emissions, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal
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There are no simple solutions to the problems of air and water pollution.Social, political, technological and economic considerations are involved. Noone of these factors should be ignored or be improperly weighed. There are manyinteractions that must be considered.
Our society generally has concluded that where a problem of human health mayexist, there is little question about the necessity of taking correctiveaction. However, opinions begin to vary when other aspects of pollution areconsidered.
Ultimately, the cost of pollution control will be paid by the public in oneway or another - by paid by the public in one way or another - by taxes, byhigher prices for goods and services, or by both. It follows, then, that thepublic must be given realistic information on cost vs benefit to determine howmuch it is willing to pay for what it wants. Thus pollution control must takeits place among other desirable tax-consuming place among other desirabletax-consuming community activities such as schools, transportation and safetythat are subjected to cost-vs-benefit judgments.
The main area of controversy in pollution control relates to the question ofhow much is enough. There are honest differences of interpretation as to howlow a level of contaminants is necessary to protect men and animals, andvegetation and materials, and to provide for aesthetic considerations.
This paper will consider certain economic aspects of the oil industry'sinvolvement in pollution control. After years of reacting to control pollutioncontrol. After years of reacting to control programs and doing the bestpossible job of solving programs and doing the best possible job of solvingindividual problems on an ad hoc basis, the industry now is in a position totake the initiative and develop positive and constructive programs forlong-range pollution abatement. This will be reflected in future industryexpenditures.
CAUSES AND EXTENT OF POLLUTION
There are certain complexities that confront both the industry andindividual companies in arriving at a complete economic assessment of theconsequences, including the side effects of certain control actions.
Concerning the over-all problem of air and water pollution in the U.S.,obviously, there always has pollution in the U.S., obviously, there always hasbeen a certain amount of it. Air is polluted by dust and water is polluted bymud, and both are polluted by decaying organisms. Man has added to polluted bydecaying organisms. Man has added to natural pollution since the beginning ofhistory, but the severe pollution that concerns us today is essentially theresult of an industrialized society in which an already large population isgrowing at an exponential rate. As Fig. 1 shows, the population not only isgrowing rapidly but also is population not only is growing rapidly but also isbecoming more heavily concentrated in urban areas the areas where pollutionproblems are most acute. Fig. 2 shows the growth of the automobile population,which currently is a major factor in population, which currently is a majorfactor in air pollution.
What is be scope of the pollution problem in our society today?
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