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Disasters of epic proportions. Oil-spill damage The costs of oil spills are considerable in Gulf spill economic and ecological terms. Oil on ocean surfaces is harmful to many forms of aquatic life because it prevents sufficient amounts of sunlight from penetrating the surface, and it also reduces the level of dissolved oxygen.
Crude oil ruins the insulating and waterproofing properties of feathers and fur, and thus oil-coated birds and marine mammals may die from hypothermia.
Moreover, ingested oil can be toxic to affected animals, and damage to their habitat and reproductive rate may slow the long-term recovery of animal populations from the short-term damage caused by the spill itself. Damage to plant life can be considerable as well; saltwater marshes and mangroves are two notable shore ecosystems that frequently suffer from oil spills.
If beaches and populated shorelines are fouled, tourism and commerce may be severely affected, as may power plants and other utilities that either draw on or discharge into seawater at the shore. One of the Gulf spill most affected by oil spills is fishing.
Major oil spills are frequently followed by the immediate suspension of commercial fishingat the least to prevent damage to vessels and equipment but also to prevent the catch and sale of fish or shellfish that may be contaminated.
The cost of paying compensation to individuals and communities damaged by oil spills has been a major incentive to reduce the chances of such events taking place in the future. Deepwater Horizon oil rig: Coast Guard Oil-spill cleanup As yet, no thoroughly satisfactory method has been developed for cleaning up major oil spills, though the spectacular spills of the last decades of the 20th century called forth great improvements in technology and in the management of coordinated responses.
Essentially, responses to oil spills seek to contain the oil and remove enough of it so that economic activity can resume and the natural recovery processes of the marine environment can take over.
Floating booms can be placed around the source of the spill or at entrances to channels and harbours to reduce the spreading of an oil slick over the sea surface. Skimming, a technique that, like the use of booms, is most effective in calm waters, involves various mechanisms that physically separate the oil from the water and place the oil into collection tanks.
Another approach is to use various sorbents e. Where appropriate, chemical surfactants and solvents may be spread over a slick in order to accelerate its natural dispersion into the sea. Onshore removal of oil that has penetrated sandy beaches and coated rocky shores is a laborious affair, frequently involving small armies of workers wielding hand tools or operating heavy construction-type equipment to scrape up contaminated debris and haul it away.
Largest oil-tanker spills in history Two enormously important oil-tanker spills that took place in European waters were the Torrey Canyon disaster off Cornwall, England, inmetric tons of crude oil were spilled and the Amoco Cadiz disaster off Brittany, France, inmetric tons of crude oil and ship fuel were spilled.
Both events led to lasting changes in the regulation of shipping and in the organization of responses to ecological emergencies such as oil spills.
In North America the Exxon Valdez oil spill of in Prince William SoundAlaska, caused great ecological and economic damage, though it ranks well below the largest oil-tanker spills in history if measured by the amount of oil spilled 37, metric tons.
The largest oil-tanker spills in history are listed in the table.Florida Awards Grants From Gulf Oil Spill Settlement A panel is beginning to award millions that Florida received for damages related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill began on 20 April when the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil drilling rig operated by BP (known as British Petroleum until ) exploded and sank. Oil began leaking at a rate eventually estimated at million gallons per day. Storms in the gulf dispersed much of the oil from the surface, so the giant slick can no longer be seen.
The spill came during a public comment period on the Obama administration’s plan to add 10 new offshore leases in the Gulf of Mexico. On April 20, , an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon/BP MC drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 workers and caused the rig to sink.
As a result, oil began leaking into the Gulf creating one of the largest spills in American history. The Memorandum in Support of the Motion for Approval of Distribution of the Assigned Claims Portion of the Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
and Transocean Ltd. Settlement Agreements (the “Memo”) and its Exhibit 1 detail how claims are calculated. May 27, · The oil spill in the gulf of Mexico is a desaster on immense proportions! I hope that the oil can be cleaned up and the environment restored to it's original state.
It proves that accidents will always happen no matter how careful we are.