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HomeIELTS WritingWriting Task 2IELTS Writing Task 2: Oil and Gas

IELTS Writing Task 2: Oil and Gas

This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of demand for oil and gas and whether or not we should exploit remote areas of the Earth.

It’s a good one to practice with because topics related to the environment, economics, and natural resources are common on IELTS.

IELTS Writing Task 2: Oil and Gas

The global demand for oil and gas is increasing. Some believe that we should therefore encourage the exploitation of remote areas.

Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

Many today believe that growing demand for fossil fuels justifies the continued exploitation of remote natural landscapes. In my opinion, the advantages of this are enough to warrant its expansion.

The disadvantages all relate to environmental conservation. Firstly, there have been cases of disastrous oil spills spoiling untouched natural preserves. This occurred more than a decage ago in an isolated part of Alaska and resulted in the deaths of thousands of rare species and long-lasting damage to the ecosystem. Secondly, fossil fuel exploitation in general should not be encouraged at a time when the Earth is facing a potentially cataclysmic reckoning with the effects of climate change. The last untouched areas of the planet should be left in peace and not greedily consumed to feed a problem that is growing more dangerous daily.

On the other hand, the advantages of drilling for oil and gas in less populated regions relate to economics and safety. Many countries, particularly developing ones, are reliant on oil and gas to prop up their economies. Losing the revenue from these industries would not only affect the companies themselves but they would pay fewer taxes and employ fewer people, who would then contribute less to the consumer economy. The second justification is safety. Companies will continue to drill for oil and gas but if they do it in residential areas there is the potential for human contamination, especially when it comes to more dangerous practices such as fracking. By limiting drilling to remote regions, the human population is safely protected from the risk of spills and increased air pollution.

In conclusion, the environmental risks do not outweigh the benefits to the economy and the citizenry that accrue from remote oil and gas exploitation. There should be protocols to protect the environment but these must be balanced against humanity’s precedence over nature.

Oil and Gas: Vocabulary

  • growing demand: more need for
  • fossil fuels justifies: oil and gas are good reason to
  • continued exploitation: more and more taking advantage of
  • remote natural landscapes: far away from civilisation locations
  • warrant: justify
  • expansion: doing more of something
  • environmental conservation: protecting the environment
  • cases: examples
  • disastrous oil spills: really bad environmental problems
  • spoiling untouched natural preserves: ruining pristine nature
  • occurred: happened
  • isolated part :not near anything else
  • resulted in: the effect was
  • rare species: not common kind of animal
  • long-lasting damage: permanently hurt
  • ecosystem: habitat
  • at a time when: during a moment of
  • potentially cataclysmic reckoning: possibly very bad consequences
  • climate change :global warming
  • last untouched areas: few remaining unspoiled pieces of nature
  • left in peace: not bothered
  • greedily consumed: used up
  • feed: take from
  • growing more dangerous daily: becoming stronger all the time
  • on the other hand: however
  • less populated regions: places where people don’t live
  • reliant: depend on
  • prop up: sustain
  • losing the revenue: not getting money
  • contribute less to the consumer economy: spend less
  • justification: reason
  • drill: dig into the Earth
  • residential areas: places where people live
  • potential: possibility
  • contamination: exposure to
  • dangerous practices: harmful methods
  • fracking: a method of extracting natural gas/oil
  • limiting: containing
  • remote regions: isolated areas
  • safely protected: kept safe
  • risk: threat
  • outweigh: more important
  • citizenry: citizens, people
  • accrue: add up to
  • protocols: rules
  • balanced against: weighed against
  • precedence over: more important than


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