BP Oil Disaster of 2010

Overview

This oil spill is considered to be the worst man-made environmental disasters in U.S. history. Approximately 82,000 birds, 6,165 sea turtles, and 25,900 marine mammals were killed in this horrific event. It's traumatic effects have completely changed the way we dill for oil.

It began on April 20th when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank. The leak was discovered two days later when a large oil slick began forming around the former oil rig site. The oil flowed for 87 days, the whole time BP trying desperately to stop it.

Finally, on July 15, after several failed solutions, a device was put in place that was created to attach a chamber of larger diameter than the flowing pipe with a flange that bolted to the top of the blow out preventer and a manual valve set to close off the flow once attached.

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Facts


  • In the BP Oil Spill, more than 200 million gallons of crude oil was pumped into the Gulf of Mexico for a total of 87 days, making it the biggest oil spill in U.S. history.
  • 16,000 total miles of coastline have been affected, including the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
  • Even though the gushing well was capped in July 2010, oil is still washing up on shores, which might cause long-term damages to people living in the area.
  • The initial oil rig explosion killed 11 people and injured 17 others.
  • President Obama announced that his administration would create a $20 billion spill response fund.
  • Responders used 5.5 million feet of boom, a barrier placed in water, to collect and absorb oil.
  • Of the 400 miles of Louisiana coast, approximately 125 miles have been polluted by the oil spill.
  • A method of treating the oil spill is "in-situ burning" or burning oil in a contained area on the surface of the water, which has negative effects on the environment.
  • Over 8,000 animals (birds, turtles, mammals) were reported dead just 6 months after the spill, including many that were already on the endangered species list.
  • BP is responsible for close to $40 billion in fines, cleanup costs, and settlements as a result of the oil spill in 2010, with an additional $16 billion due to the Clean Water Act.
  • Over 30,000 people responded to the spill in the Gulf Coast working to collect oil, clean up beaches, take care of animals and perform various other duties. As of 2012, the Gulf was still polluted with oil.

Aftermath

  • Sick Dolphins
  • Sea Turtles Stranding at 5x Normal Rates
  • Unbalanced Food Web
  • Decreased Fish and Wildlife Populations
  • Decline in Recreation