Oil spills are one of biggest man-made disasters which spoil the water bodies and creatures living there. Oil spill is a release of Crude oil into Ocean or any water bodies and causing pollution. Spills will take months or even years to clean up. World had witnessed lot of oil spills, let us seven worst spills.
1. BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico
Officially world’s largest accidental oil spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010. It is caused by an explosion in the Deep-water Horizon of BP and claimed 12 lives and ejected an estimated 206 million gallons of oil into the sea. BP made lot of efforts to stop the flow but it would not . The spill resulted in extensive damage to marine and wildlife habitats, and also a huge setback to fishing and tourism industries. BP had spent 6.2 billion dollars of money to clean the ocean and in-terms of compensation to people and companies. BP also suffered a loss of $17.25 billion. Oil spurted from the well for more than 90 days and 31,000 employees were involved in the clean-up operations. Though clean-up operations are over, many experts have said that it will affect the ocean’s ecosystem for many years to come.
2. Gulf War Oil Spill
One of the worst oil spill in history was a deliberate incident. Oil spill was started on January 23, 1991 by Iraqi armed forces to stop the American forces from entering. They just opened the valves of the oil terminal at the sea island. 380-520 million gallons of oil was spilled into the gulf. Aftermath of Oil spill formed a 4-inch thick layer that spread across 4,000 square miles in the Persian Gulf. The layer resulted in destroying the ecosystem and maritime life, it killed thousands of creatures and also resulted in billions of dollars in monetary losses. Even in 2003, 12 years after the incident, million cubic meters of oil sediment remained in the sea.
3. Ixtoc 1 Oil Spill
It was caused by the Mexican government’s oil company – Pemex. While drilling a 3 km deep oil well, the drilling rig lost drilling mud circulation, and resulted in disaster. At Bay of Campeche of the Gulf of Mexico the blowout happened on June 3, 1979 and resulted in spurting 20,000 barrels of oil every day into the sea for almost 10 months. Blow-out polluted a considerable part of marine life in the offshore region, resulting in environmental havoc. Though thousands of baby sea turtles were rescued from the sea, spill had a drastic impact on the littoral crab and on the mollusk fauna of the beaches. The company incurred to a loss of about $600 million.
4. Atlantic Empress Oil Spill
This oil spill is not caused by offshore oil wells, it was due to tropical storm which resulted in collision of Atlantic Express (carrying 276,000 tonnes of crude oil) and the Aegean Captain (carrying 200,000 tonnes of crude oil) in the Caribbean sea. The incident happened on June 19, 1979 when two oil tankers got struck in tropical rainstorm. Oil was a property of petroleum giant Mobil. Though the Aegean Captain managed to control the fire, the Atlantic Empress could not. Ten days later, a powerful explosion led the ship to wreck spilling 287,000 tonnes of oil into the sea. The spill cost close to half a billion dollars. Both the ships were sank into the deep-sea and their cargo were solidified. Fortunately the spill from the two ships never came ashore.
5. Fergana Valley
Fergana valley oil spill is the biggest oil spill to be occurred on land in the planet. It happened on march 2, 1992 when a blowout took place at well 5 in Mingbulak oil field, Fergana valley, Uzbekistan. It took place at populated industrial and agricultural zone in Uzbekistan. It spilled 88 million gallons of oil into the land and also the fire due to spill burnt for two months. The losses were estimated at over $250 million.
6. Kolva River Oil Spill
This is the largest oil spill caused by pipeline leak. The leaking has been taking place from February, 1994 but it was not a big concern since the dyke contained the oil. On October 1, 1994 the tragedy took place, after some heavy rains, the dyke burst and the oil spilled into the Klova river in northern Russia. It spurted 84 million gallons of water into the river and affected 170 acres of land. The spill resulted in a great threat to marine life in Russian arctic region.
7. Nowruz Oil Field Spill
It was caused by the collision of oil tanker with the Nowruz platform in the Persian Gulf. It took place in march when Iraqi helicopters were attacking the platform. When the tanker collided, it resulted in huge disaster. Also it is not the first time, the spill had occurred in this platform. Eleven people were killed and about 80 million gallons of oil were spilled into the sea. War prevented the aftermath operations to stop the flow and resulted in destroying the marine life in huge extent. Monetary losses were estimated at close to half a billion dollars.