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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.

For more resources, you can sign up to my Patreon here and my online courses or writing corrections.

Dave

IELTS Essay: 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.

Analysis

1. Many today believe that growing demand for fossil fuels justifies the continued exploitation of remote natural landscapes. 2. In my opinion, the advantages of this are enough to warrant its expansion.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Give a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. The disadvantages all relate to environmental conservation. 2. Firstly, there have been cases of disastrous oil spills spoiling untouched natural preserves. 3. 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. 4. 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. 5. 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.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. This question asks about advantages and disadvantages (plural) so begin writing about one disadvantage.
  3. Develop it fully.
  4. Switch to the second disadvantage.
  5. Develop that one full as well.

1. On the other hand, the advantages of drilling for oil and gas in less populated regions relate to economics and safety. 2. Many countries, particularly developing ones, are reliant on oil and gas to prop up their economies. 3. 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. 4. 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. 5. By limiting drilling to remote regions, the human population is safely protected from the risk of spills and increased air pollution.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain the main idea or begin an example.
  3. Develop it fully by stating the results.
  4. Move on to your second advantage.
  5. Develop it as fully as possible.

1. In conclusion, the environmental risks do not outweigh the benefits to the economy and the citizenry that accrue from remote oil and gas exploitation. 2. There should be protocols to protect the environment but these must be balanced against humanity’s precedence over nature.

  1. Summarise your main ideas and repeat your opinion.
  2. Add in a final thought or extra detail. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

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.

Answers

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

Pronunciation

ˈgrəʊɪŋ dɪˈmɑːnd |
ˈfɒsl̩ ˈfjuːəlz ˈdʒʌstɪfaɪz |
kənˈtɪnjuːd ˌeksploɪˈteɪʃn̩ |
rɪˈməʊt ˈnætʃrəl ˈlændskeɪps |
ˈwɒrənt |
ɪkˈspænʃn̩ |
ɪnˌvaɪərənˈmentl̩ ˌkɒnsəˈveɪʃn̩ |
ˈkeɪsɪz |
dɪˈzɑːstrəs ˈoɪl spɪlz |
ˈspɔɪlɪŋ ʌnˈtʌtʃt ˈnætʃrəl prɪˈzɜːvz |
əˈkɜːd |
ˈaɪsəleɪtɪd pɑːt |
rɪˈzʌltɪd ɪn |
reə ˈspiːʃiːz |
lɒŋ ˈlɑːstɪŋ ˈdæmɪdʒ |
ˈiːkəʊsɪstəm |
ət ə ˈtaɪm wen |
pəˈtenʃəli ˌkætəˈklɪzmɪk ˈrekənɪŋ |
ˈklaɪmət tʃeɪndʒ |
lɑːst ʌnˈtʌtʃt ˈeəriəz |
left ɪn piːs |
ˈɡriːdɪli kənˈsjuːmd |
fiːd |
ˈgrəʊɪŋ mɔː ˈdeɪndʒərəs ˈdeɪli |
ˈɒn ði ˈʌðə hænd |
les ˈpɒpjʊleɪtɪd ˈriːdʒənz |
rɪˈlaɪənt | | prɒp ʌp |
ˈluːzɪŋ ðə ˈrevənjuː |
kənˈtrɪbjuːt les tu ðə kənˈsjuːmər ɪˈkɒnəmi |
ˌdʒʌstɪfɪˈkeɪʃn̩ |
drɪl |
ˌrezɪˈdenʃl̩ ˈeəriəz |
pəˈtenʃl̩ |
kənˌtæmɪˈneɪʃn̩ |
ˈdeɪndʒərəs ˈpræktɪsɪz |
ˈfrækɪŋ |
ˈlɪmɪtɪŋ |
rɪˈməʊt ˈriːdʒənz |
ˈseɪfli prəˈtektɪd |
rɪsk |
ˌaʊtˈweɪ |
ˈsɪtɪzənri |
əˈkruː |
ˈprəʊtəkɒlz |
ˌbælənst əˈɡenst |
ˈpresɪdəns ˈəʊvə |

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Many today believe that g________________d for f____________________s the c_________________________n of r__________________________s. In my opinion, the advantages of this are enough to w_____________t its e_____________n.

The disadvantages all relate to e______________________n. Firstly, there have been c_____s of d______________________s s_________________________________s. This o__________d more than a decage ago in an i____________t of Alaska and r___________n the deaths of thousands of r_____________s and l______________________e to the e___________m. Secondly, fossil fuel exploitation in general should not be encouraged a______________n the Earth is facing a p________________________________g with the effects of c__________________e. The l_____________________s of the planet should be l______________________e and not g____________________d to f______d a problem that is g_________________________y.

O_______________________d, the advantages of drilling for oil and gas in l________________________________s relate to economics and safety. Many countries, particularly developing ones, are r___________t on oil and gas to p___________p their economies. L__________________e from these industries would not only affect the companies themselves but they would pay fewer taxes and employ fewer people, who would then c____________________________________y. The second j______________n is safety. Companies will continue to d_____l for oil and gas but if they do it in r_____________________s there is the p___________l for human c________________n, especially when it comes to more d_________________s such as f_____________g. By l___________g drilling to r______________s, the human population is s_______________d from the r____k of spills and increased air pollution.

In conclusion, the environmental risks do not o____________h the benefits to the economy and the c____________y that a_________e from remote oil and gas exploitation. There should be p____________s to protect the environment but these must be b________________t humanity’s p___________________r nature.

Listening Practice

Learn more about drilling in Alaska below:

Reading Practice

Learn more about remote drilling here:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/drillers-go-remote-as-pandemic-reshapes-oil-business-11596369600

Speaking Practice

Answer the following questions from the real IELTS speaking exam about scenery:

Scenery

  1. Are there many places in your hometown to see nice scenery?
  2. When you travel, do you stay in rooms with good views?
  3. Would you like to live in a house with beautiful scenery around it?
  4. Why do people like taking pictures of the scenery?

Writing Practice

Write about the following topic then check with my sample answer:

Developing the economy will always damage the environment.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?


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