Oil spills have not been a rare occurrence in human history. And unfortunately, neither have they always been accidental.
Yes, there have been some that were caused by collisions and explosions; others were utilized as a method of warfare, whereas some essentially came down to human neglect. And in all of them, our oceans and marine life were the two major entities that suffered the worst of it.
As a company that is dedicated to bettering our ocean environment, we’re taking this opportunity to educate our customers on the worst oil spills in history and the damage they caused!
This was a disastrous step taken by the Iraqi forces in 1991 during the Gulf War when they withdrew from the country of Kuwait. To keep the US forces from landing on the shore, the forces opened the pipelines and oil well valves and set fire to the sea. A fire that started in January 1991 from the opening of the first well, the oil spill on fire lasted well into April until the last well was capped. As a result, tens of hundreds of marine mammals were killed, with the final number coming at 240 million gallons of oil spilt.
Also known as the BP oil spill or the Gulf of Mexico Oil spill, this incident was considered to be the largest spill in the history of the petroleum industry. Having occurred due to an accident in a seafloor oil gusher in April 2019, this led to an explosion in Deepwater Horizon, BP’s oil rig. As a result, not only did 11 men who worked aboard the rig died, the oil that spilt came about at 53,000 barrels, spilling into the Gulf of Mexico each day!
In addition to the loss of human life, this oil spill caused the death of around 6,000 sea turtles, 25,900 marine animals, 82,000 birds and fish ranging in tens of thousands.
This occurred during the Iran-Iraq was of 83. An accident caused by an oil tanker hitting the Nowruz Field Platform in the Persian Gulf resulted in a major oil spill that caused 1500 barrels of oil—around 80 million gallons—to flow in the gulf for seven months. Because of the war, the oil spill could not be controlled. And as a result, in addition to the loss of 11 lives, the spill caused undue damage to marine life.
In terms of how much oil was spilled, the Exxon oil spill comes at a close second after the BP oil spill. Caused by the oil tanker Exxon Valdez running aground on the Prince William Sound’s Bligh Reef in Alaska, the oil spill caused 58 million gallons of oil to flood the sea, 10.9 million of which made its way into the Alaskan coastline.
Because of this spill, final research showed casualties of nearly 2,800 sea otters, 300 harbor seals, and 250,000 seabirds and over 100,000 marine species.
According to the US department of Energy, around 1.3 million gallons of oil are spilled into the sea each year, and that’s just in US waters.
This is why it’s important that we do our part in keep the oceans safe and clean for all aquatic animals and for the world’s ecosystem.
The Ocean Vibe donates 10 percent of our net income each year to organizations dedicated toward ocean safety and cleanliness
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