The ethical risks in oil exploration, drilling, refining, and transport in South America are largely environmental risks. These include short term risks like health risks due to gasses emitted during these processes , oil spill which has the potential to ruin livelihoods , ecosystems and the health of communities like the one witnessed recently involving BP. long term issues like carbon emissions that rise the level of green house effect leading to global warming, poor long term toxic waste management leading to air and water pollution (Waisbord , 2000). Ethical benefits would impact positively to the surrounding community. These include creation of jobs.
The legal benefits the oil mining company stands to gain include : the privilege of owning the mines unlike in many other countries where Governments own mines , Government subsidies given to mining firms to carry out exploration in south America unlike in many other countries(Waisbord , 2000) . legal risks include a law that gives a right to poor communities inhabiting the mining area to have access to books showing money generated by the mining company and demand that the company builds schools, health care facilities and create jobs(Waisbord , 2000).
From my friends responses, I learnt that south America’s oil reserves remain largely untapped due to a history of poor environmental and social practice coupled with a lack of mining experienced personnel . The most compelling points were the best scientific methods to employ to mitigate the ethical risk involved when oil spills to water bodies which can poison communities. This was still unclear after the discussion and also the legal consequences of the spill on the mining firm.