Oil Pollution & Spills...

another example of how humans are ruining this planet!

Major Sources of Oil Pollution

-Oil tanker spills: Oil spills have long-lasting effects on the environment.


-Offshore drilling: There are approximately 8,000 offshore oil platforms that experience leaks often. An estimated 146,000 kilograms of petroleum leaks into North American waters per year. Foreign oil platforms leak about 0.3 million to 1.4 million kilograms of petroleum into the ocean.


-Natural release of oil: 60% of all oil in waters surrounding North America comes from the natural release of oil from seeps in the bottom of the ocean.

OIl Spill Remediation Method

Oil spills can be cleaned up with the use of genetically-engineered bacteria. Bacteria that harnesses its energy through the consumption of oil occurs naturally around oil seeps. They are rare in the ocean but are prominent in areas where oil spills are common. Scientists are attempting to insert replications of the gene that allows this bacteria to consume oil into genetically-engineered bacteria. These organisms will assist in cleaning up oil spills faster.

Atlantic Empress & Aegean Captain Oil Spill

On July 19, 1979, two tankers both carrying over 200,000 tons of crude oil- the Atlantic Empress and the Aegean Captain- collided off the coast of Venezuela. The Empress was thrown off course due to a thunderstorm and followed a path directly to the Captain. After the collision, a series of explosions and fires erupted on both tankers. Twenty-seven people lost their life that day. The Empress burned for two weeks before it eventually collapsed into the ocean, leaking a large amount of oil into the ocean, compared to the Captain who only had minimal leakage. Due to the powerful fire, prompt cleanup methods were out of the picture. This was one of the largest oil spills ever recorded, yet it did not get much publicity because it did not happen in a popular area. No professional or scientific studies were conducted in the area so the effects of the spill was never recorded.
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