Gulf Oil Spill

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The Gulf Oil Spill was an industrial disaster that started on April 20th 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. It is also referred to as the BP Oil Spill or BP Oil Disaster. It is considered to be the largest marine oil spill in history.

The explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 people and injured 17 others. It was revealed by underwater cameras that the BP pipe was leaking oil and gas on the ocean floor about 42 miles off the coast of Louisiana. The company was fined a record $18 billion under the Clean Water Act.

 

Quick Facts: –

  • In the Gulf Oil Spill, more than 200 million gallons of crude oil was pumped into the Gulf of Mexico for a total of 87 days.
  • Over 8,000 animals including birds, turtles, and mammals died just 6 months after the spill.
  • More than 30,000 people responded to the spill in the Gulf Coast working to collect oil, clean up beaches, and perform various other duties.
  • A 5.5 million ft of boom was used, a barrier placed in water to collect and absorb oil.
  • The amount and type of oil affects the way it spreads in the water and also the method of cleaning after a spill.
  • The most basic method of cleaning is to control the further spreading of oil by using physical barriers.
  • When most of the oil is removed by skimmers, sorbents are used to mop up the trace amounts left behind.
  • In some cases, dispersants are also used. These are chemicals used to break down the oil into smaller particles.
  • Even though the gushing well was capped in July 2010 the oil continued to wash up on shores causing long-term damage to the people living in the area.