oil spill

Topics: Petroleum, Oil spill, Hydrocarbon Pages: 2 (678 words) Published: September 27, 2013
An oil spill is a release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment due to human activity, and is a form of pollution. The term often refers to marine oil spills, where oil is released into the ocean or coastal waters. Oil spills include releases of crude oil from tankers, offshore platforms, drilling rigs and wells, as well as spills of refined petroleum products (such as gasoline, diesel) and their by-products, and heavier fuels used by large ships such as bunker fuel, or the spill of any oily refuse or waste oil. Spills may take months or even years to clean up. Oil also enters the marine environment from natural oil seeps. Most human-made oil pollution comes from land-based activity, but public attention and regulation has tended to focus most sharply on seagoing oil tankers. An oil spill is a release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment due to human activity, and is a form of pollution. The term often refers to marine oil spills, where oil is released into the ocean or coastal waters. Oil spills include releases of crude oil from tankers, offshore platforms, drilling rigs and wells, as well as spills of refined petroleum products (such as gasoline, diesel) and their by-products, and heavier fuels used by large ships such as bunker fuel, or the spill of any oily refuse or waste oil. Spills may take months or even years to clean up. Oil also enters the marine environment from natural oil seeps. Most human-made oil pollution comes from land-based activity, but public attention and regulation has tended to focus most sharply on seagoing oil tankers. The oil penetrates into the structure of the plumage of birds, reducing its insulating ability, thus making the birds more vulnerable to temperature fluctuations and much less buoyant in the water. It also impairs birds' flight abilities to forage and escape from predators. Most birds affected by an oil spill die unless there is human intervention. Marine mammals exposed to oil spills...
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