BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill - Causes and Effects

Adding to the list of biggest man made disasters affecting environment, BP oil spill (also known as Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Gulf of Mexico oil spill) has become US biggest oil spill after 1989 Exxon Valdez accident in Alaska. Environmental experts believe that this oil spill that has covered approximately 9000 square kilometer area of Gulf of Mexico with the layer of oil slick can cause environmental disaster due to petroleum toxicity and unavailability of oxygen to the marine life. It will destroy the natural habitat of many bird species and aquatic species.

Causes of BP Oil Spill:

The spill started on April 20, 2010 when an oil well blow out. As per US president Barack Obama, the spill occurred due to the negligence and lack of responsibility on the part of BP and its associated companies which includes Transocean and Halliburton. The explosion in the oil well caused explosion of Deepwater Horizon.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Note: Deepwater Horizon is a semi submersible rig or platform that is used for drilling of oil wells for oil exploration.                                                                               -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BP oil spill in gulf of mexico graphics  Deepwater Horizon on fire after BP oil spill in US

According to BP’s internal investigation, the reason of the explosion was the leakage of Methane gas from the well that ignited after expanding out of the well. One more reason that is coming into picture is the cost cutting by BP on maintenance activities and caused the explosion.

Environmental Effects of BP Oil Spill:

Well, BP oil spill has almost ruined the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to reach the Louisiana coast by April 30, 2010. The oil slick over the surface of sea will cut off the oxygen supply to the marine life and can cause threat to the marine life.
So many endangered species which includes whales, turtles and dolphins are at risk. The oil when consumed by fishes and microbes will affect to the top of food chain and will damage the wildlife environment seriously.
Oil Slick as seen from space                                           Oil slick view from space - From Nasa
Spill Details:
Amount of Leakage(Volume)
From 1050000 to 4200000 gallons per day
Area covered by oil slick From 2500 to 9000 square miles
Location of Oil Spill Near Mississippi Delta, about 40 miles from Louisiana Coast

Updates on BP Oil Spill:

01 June 2010
Work continues by BP in Gulf of Mexico to collect and disperse the spilled oil that has reached the surface of the Mexican ocean. Over 1600 recovery vessels and skimmers are now involved in the effort. to clean the ocean.

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