20.04.

2010: BP’s Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico

2010: BP’s Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 20 April 2010
  • The oil at the bottom of the sea began to emerge at the speed of as many as 9,900,000 liters per day. Since the sea was about 1,500 meters deep at that point, it took them a long time to find a way to close the borehole.

The tragic anniversary of the start of the largest marine oil spill in world history falls on this day. 

It was on that day in 2010 that an oil platform run by the company British Petroleum (BP), exploded about 60 kilometers south-east of the coast of the U.S. state of Louisiana. The explosion killed 11 workers and injured another 16.

It is interesting that, just earlier that day on that very platform, they had celebrated the passing of seven full years without any injuries. It appears that the explosion was caused by a large amount of methane gas that suddenly emerged from the borehole. 

The ecological disaster was caused by the oil that began to emerge on the sea bed at a rate of 9,900,000 liters per day. Since the sea at that point was about 1,500 meters deep, it took them a long time to find a way to close the borehole.

The agony lasted nearly three months and in that period a total of 780 million liters of oil leaked into the ocean. The pollution affected an area of about 180,000 square kilometers. 

The company BP admitted that its mistakes had led to the disaster. It seems that there were cost-cutting efforts at the expense of safety. BP committed to pay 4.525 billion to the affected parties.

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