Topics: Petroleum, Oil spill, Exxon Valdez oil spill Pages: 30 (10674 words) Published: May 5, 2011

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also referred to as the BP oil spill, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the BP oil disaster or the Macondo blowout)[5][6][7][8] is a massive ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that is the largest offshore spill in U.S. history.[9] Some estimates placed it by late May or early June, 2010, as among the largest oil spills in history with hundreds of millions of gallons spilled to date. The spill stems from a sea floor oil gusher that resulted from the 20 April 2010 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion. The explosion killed 11 platform workers and injured 17 others.[10] The gusher is estimated by the quasi-official Flow Rate Technical Group to be flowing at 35,000 to 60,000 barrels of crude oil per day.[11][12][13] For comparison, this is an amount equal to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill every one to two weeks. The exact flow rate is uncertain due to the difficulty of installing measurement devices at that depth and is a matter of ongoing debate.[14] The resulting oil slick covers at least 2,500 square miles (6,500 km2), fluctuating from day to day depending on weather conditions.[15] Scientists have also reported immense underwater plumes of oil not visible at the surface.[14] The spill has extensive environmental impact already apparent on marine and wildlife habitats.[16][17] The spill has also damaged the Gulf of Mexico fishing and tourism industries. There have been a variety of efforts to stem the flow at the wellhead. Crews have been working to protect hundreds of miles of beaches, wetlands and estuaries along the northern Gulf coast, using skimmer ships, floating containment booms, anchored barriers, and sand-filled barricades along shorelines. The U.S. Government has named BP as the responsible party, and officials have committed to hold the company accountable for all cleanup costs and other damage [pic]

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|Deepwater Horizon oil spill | |[pic] | |The oil slick as seen from space by NASA's Terra satellite on 24 May 2010. | |Location |Gulf of Mexico near Mississippi River Delta | |Coordinates |[pic]28°44′12″N 88°21′58″W / 28.736628°N 88.365997°W / | | |28.736628; -88.365997Coordinates: [pic]28°44′12″N | | |88°21′58″W / 28.736628°N 88.365997°W / 28.736628; | | |-88.365997 | |Date |since 20 April 2010 (86 days) | |Cause | |Cause |Wellhead blowout | |Casualties |13 dead (11 killed on Deepwater Horizon, 2 additional oil | | |related deaths)[1][2] | | |17 injured | |Operator |Transocean under contract for BP[3] | |Spill characteristics | |Volume |up to 100,000 barrels (4,200,000 US gallons; 16,000 cubic | | |meters) per day | |Area |2,500 to 9,100 sq mi (6,500 to 24,000 km2)[4] |

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also referred to as the BP oil spill, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill,...
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