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Global climate change implications for coastal and offshore oil and gas development

Burkett, Virginia
Energy policy 2011 v.39 no.12 pp. 7719-7725
acidity, air, carbon dioxide, climate, climate change, coasts, continental shelf, energy, fossil fuels, oils, sea level, storms, transportation, water temperature, North America
The discussion and debate about climate change and oil and gas resource development has generally focused on how fossil fuel use affects the Earth's climate. This paper explores how the changing climate is likely to affect oil and gas operations in low-lying coastal areas and the outer continental shelf. Oil and gas production in these regions comprises a large sector of the economies of many energy producing nations. Six key climate change drivers in coastal and marine regions are characterized with respect to oil and gas development: changes in carbon dioxide levels and ocean acidity, air and water temperature, precipitation patterns, the rate of sea level rise, storm intensity, and wave regime. These key drivers have the potential to independently and cumulatively affect coastal and offshore oil and gas exploration, production, and transportation, and several impacts of climate change have already been observed in North America.