Different stages in the process cause different types of pollution, but the two most harmful stages are probably extraction and transportation. The oil extraction process results in the release of toxic drilling by-products into local rivers or oceans, in the case of offshore drilling, while broken pipelines and leakage result in persistent oil spillage. In addition, the construction of roads for accessing remote oil sites opens wild lands to colonists and land developers. Transporting crude oil can result in oil spills, such as the highly destructive Exxon-Valdez tanker spill in 1989. Oil tanker spills account for about 5% of the oil pollution in the ocean.
The biggest cause of pollution in oil production are probably oil spills. Oil spills occur with disturbing frequency due to accidents, spills, or faulty equipment. Unfortunately, oil in the environment has a number of very negative environmental results, especially if it is spilled in a body of water.
Furthermore, the development and processing that oil needs to go through in order to reach a usable form releases large amounts of pollutants into the air.
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