Now, let’s explore the socio-cultural effects of oil. There are 3 main advantages and 3 main disadvantages.
This time, we’ll start with the advantages. Increased domestic fuel production has lead to reduction in imports and has also lowered national prices for crude oil and price of gasoline at the gas station. To summarize this, the more oil is produced, the less we have to pay and the less is imported from other countries.
This in turn will save fuel for oil transportation (because we are not importing fuel from another country possibly in another continent). In addition, oil has lead to skill development of people, educational growth of people, and opportunity to train people in sustainable workforce. This is due to the fact, we need engineers and specialized workers to tend to the oil sites. We are bringing specialized workers in from other countries and are increasing workforce and the government is reaping more taxes, which are going to infrastructure and research and development. As you may have concluded, oil production has created tens of thousands of new job opportunities, some low paying while some higher paying. Demand for oil workers leads to an increase in population, which brings us to the disadvantages. When workers are immigrating to oil sites, small towns surrounding the oil sites become overpopulated because of the sudden increase in human population.
This can pose a threat to public safety, and increases local crime. Another disadvantage is that oil drilling can also destroy cultural resources/artifacts, such as historical trails or traditional lands. Locals will rebel and take serious offense to this, and charges may be applied to the oil drilling companies. To add to this, during construction of pipelines, burying sites may be disturbed which will again offend the locals. Vibration, resulting from increased traffic and drilling/development activities, may also have effects on sites with standing architecture. Small towns faced with sudden rapid growth will affect communities’ health and social infrastructure because those small towns will not have enough hotels, hospitals etc, (population:buildings ratio is increasing) for everyone. A final disadvantage is that industrial camps are generally used at the oil sand development sites. These camps are used because oil sites are usually located away from residential homes and workers on scene don’t have anywhere else to stay (Engineers and project managers usually stay further from the oil site).
Workers at industrial camps may drop a burning cigarette/cigar or start a campfire which can spread to the nearby wilderness and start a forest fire. However, the forest fire isn’t the biggest threat. The industrial camps are within a Km of the oil site, so any fire started may reach the oil, and as you may have predicted, the oil will react with fire and a huge explosion will be triggered. Not only will this seriously injure or kill anyone on scene, but too much oil will be wasted. Therefore, there are several threats to oil drilling socio-culturally.