The Great Oil Spill of 2010-The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

The BP Oil Disaster

On the fateful day of April 20,2010, an explosion occurred on a British Petroleum (BP) oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. This explosion was responsible for starting one of the largest oil spills that the world has experienced. The oil spill is also referred to as the Deep-water Horizon Oil Spill, The BP Oil Disaster, The BP Oil Spill. The oil continued to spill for three months and the impact of the same is still something that the region is coping up with. Let us look into the details of the explosion, the spill and its impacts.

The Deep-water Horizon was a nine year old mobile off shore drilling unit. It is a semi submersible unit that can drill up to 30,000 feet. At the time of explosion the rig which is owned by Transocean was on lease with British Petroleum. The time when the explosion occurred, an exploratory well was being dug in the Macondo Prospect in the Mississippi Canyon (Gulf of Mexico, United States). The location is approximately at a distance of 66 kilometers from the Louisiana Coast. For reasons justified the oil spill dominated the news. Some of the reasons that were responsible for taking the event to headlines were:

=>It resulted in death of 11 and injuries to 17 platform workers;
=>Before the leakage was capped the estimated leak was at 53,000 barrels per day and the same was expected to rise over a period of time;
=>In total nearly 5 million barrels of oil were released;
=>It took nearly three months to control the leakage and it was not until September 19th that the well was declared dead.

Control of Contamination

A number of efforts had been undertaken to control the oil spill. The oil dome technique is being considered as the best technique to deal with contamination. An oil spill dome that allows workers to pump warm water into it to avoid freezing of water was being used.

The oil had begun to spread to multiple locations raising the need to undertake effective cleanup efforts. Multiple efforts were made in combination to control and check the effects of oil spill. Deploying containment booms to check spread of oil towards the shore, burning the oil, breaking the oil using oil dispersants, pumping the oil off the surface are some of the measures that were undertaken to reduce the impact of oil spill.

Scientists have expressed their faith in the corrective measures that have been undertaken to check pollution but the fact remains that the Gulf of Mexico has been polluted and marine life affected by oil spill of this magnitude. It is being hailed as environmental disaster that America has been through and the largest oil spill in this region since the year 1979.

Image Credits: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/episode/gulf-oil-spill-5488/Overview

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