World’s biggest oil spills.
Here’s five of the biggest marine spills in history.
Persian Gulf – January 23, 1991 – up to 1,500,000 tonnes
Gulf of Mexico – 2010 – approximately 574, 000 tonnes (August estimate)
Gulf of Mexico – June 3, 1979 – 454,000 – 480,000 tonnes
Trinidad and Tobago – July 19, 1979 – 287,000 tonnes
Fergana Valley Uzbekistan – March 2, 1992 – 285,000 tonnes
There have been a total of 15 known marine oil spills consisting of over 100,000 tonnes. One tonne of crude oil is roughly equal to 308 US gallons; so in the Persian Gulf incident, approximately 462 million barrels were spilled – 20 times more than the USA consumes in a day, over a year’s worth of consumption for Australia and enough to supply the entire world’s crude oil needs for around 5 days.
It’s interesting to note that the Exxon Valdez disaster, isn’t among the “100,000” club – it wasn’t even close at approximately 35,000 tonnes – but previous to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster, it was the largest spill in U.S. history and given where it occurred, one of the biggest ecological disasters the nation has experienced. That spill killed hundreds of thousands of sea birds, thousands of otters, hundreds of seals as well as killer whales, bald eagles and fish. It’s not just how much oil is spilled that plays a role in the devastation that occurs, but where it is spilled.
... of spilled oil was slow to be organized because Exxon and the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company were not prepared for the disaster. The oil ... began a series of studies of the fate of the spilled oil. These studies, carried out with help from the Minerals Management ... distribution and long-term weathering effects of spilled oil residues. Among the known effects of the spill was a huge loss of wildlife ...
Oil leaks and spills don’t just affect marine life – they have a direct impact on humans too long after the initial media frenzy has died down. Some Alaskan communities were affected by the Exxon Valdez disaster as important commercial fishing and hunting grounds were contaminated for an extended period. Tourism was also affected.
Unfortunately the people, creatures and ecosystems of Louisiana and other states are now experiencing the same