Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Categories: 04-April, Infrastructure Timelines: Man-Made Disasters

Anchor handling tugs and platform supply vessels combat the fire on the Deepwater Horizon while the U.S. Coast Guard searches for missing crew. (Credit: U.S. Coast Guard)


April 20, 2010:

The oil drilling rig Deepwater Horizon, which was owned and operated by Transocean and drilling for BP, operating in the Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico, exploded and sank. In 87 days following the explosion, approximately 210,000,000 gallons of oil were spilled around 68,000 square miles of the Gulf before finally being capped on July 15, 2010. It is the largest spill of oil in the history of marine oil drilling in the United States.—(EPA)

Impact:

  • 11 fatalities; 16 injured
  • Record-setting settlement with BP Exploration & Production for an unprecedented $5.5 billion Clean Water Act penalty and up to $8.8 billion in natural resource damages.

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