Welcome To Oil Spill Gulf Of Mexico 2010 Information
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill was a massive ongoing oil spill that is the largest offshore spill in U.S.
history with hundreds of millions of gallons spilled to date. The spill stemmed from a sea floor oil
gusher that resulted from the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion.
The explosion killed 11 platform workers and injured 17 others. The gusher was estimated to be
flowing at 35,000 to 60,000 barrels of crude oil per day. For comparison, this is an amount equal
to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill every one to two weeks. The exact flow rate was uncertain due
to the difficulty of installing measurement devices at that depth and was a matter of ongoing debate.
The resulting oil slick covered at least 2,500 square miles, fluctuating from day to day
depending on weather conditions. Scientists also reported immense underwater plumes of
oil not visible at the surface. Experts feared the spill would result in an environmental disaster,
with extensive impact quickly apparent on marine and wildlife habitats. The spill also
damaged the Gulf of Mexico fishing and tourism industries. There were a variety of efforts
to stem the flow at the wellhead. Crews worked to protect hundreds of miles of
beaches, wetlands and estuaries along the northern Gulf coast, using skimmer ships, floating
containment booms, anchored barriers, and sand-filled barricades along shorelines.
The U.S. Government named BP as the responsible party, and officials committed to hold the company
accountable for all cleanup costs and other damage. The disparity between what BP promised and the
amount of oil recovered after the April 20 explosion underscored what some officials
and environmental groups called a misleading numbers game that led to widespread confusion
about the extent of the spill and the progress of the recovery.
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Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill Update
More than 3,200 oil and gas wells classified as active lie abandoned beneath the Gulf of Mexico,
with no cement plugging to help prevent leaks that could threaten the same waters polluted by the 2010 BP oil spill.
These wells likely pose an even greater environmental threat than the 27,000 wells in the Gulf that have been plugged
and classified officially as "permanently abandoned" or "temporarily abandoned." The unplugged wells haven't been
used for at least five years, and there are no plans to restore production on them, according to the federal government.
Operators have not been required to plug the wells because their leases have not expired. As a result, there is little
to prevent powerful leaks from pushing to the surface. Even depleted wells can repressurize from work on nearby wells
or shifts in oil or gas layers beneath the surface, petroleum engineers say. But no one is watching to make sure that doesn't happen.
Meanwhile, BP said in papers filed in federal court in New Orleans that it is suing rig owner Transocean for at least
$40 billion in damages, accusing it of causing the 2010 deadly blowout in the Gulf of Mexico that led to the worst offshore
oil spill in U.S. history. BP says every single safety system and device and well control procedure on the Deepwater Horizon
rig failed. It also is suing Cameron International, which provided a blowout preventer with a faulty design, which caused an
unreasonable amount of risk that harm would occur.
Both companies have filed counter claims against BP.
Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill Update
Florida dodged the worst of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, but could collect
billions of dollars from environmental fines proposed against the British oil company. A new federal law
requires that 80% of the U.S. Clean Water Act penalties levied against BP for the oil spill go
towards environmental and economic recovery of the Gulf of Mexico and its coastline. With the
potential federal fines ranging from $5 to $21 billion, and unofficial reports that BP is prepared to
settle for $15 billion, the amount Florida receives is expected to be great. The money could provide
Florida with a boost to its weakening economy by bringing tourism back to the Panhandle.
Local commercial fishing along with the health of oyster reefs, corals, marshes,
mangrove swamps, and sea grasses as far as the Florida Keys would also improve.
Links and Resources
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