World’s largest oil rig to sink was off the Coast of Brazil. The rig was 40-story’s high and sank below the waterline within 10 minutes. Killing 10 people. It floated 80 miles offshore on pontoons the size of ocean liners. This was on Tuesday, March 20, 2001.
The Deepwater Horizon does not even rank among the Worst 10 Oil spills in History!
Some of the worst oil spills in History:
10. The Odyssey: 132,000 tons In November 1988, the American-owned oil tanker Odyssey split in two 700 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia. About 132,000 tons of crude oil spewed into the sea and caught fire as it sank, setting the spill on fire. Because of hazardous weather conditions, the Canadian Coast Guard could not immediately reach the spill, and much of the oil burned.
9. The Haven: 145,000 tons A violent explosion aboard the Cyprus-based tanker the Haven killed six members of the crew and spilled 145,000 tons of oil off the coast of Italy in April 1991. In most oil spills, oil remains near the surface of water, but in this spill some sank. Oil from the Haven was later found in ocean beds at depths of up to 1,640 feet.
8. The Amoco Cadiz: 223,000 tons Stormy weather drove the Amoco Cadiz, a very large crude carrier, aground on the Portsall Rocks, a 90 foot deep outcrop off the coast of Brittany, France in 1978. The ship slit in tow and sank quickly before its 1,604.500 barrels of oil load could be pumped from the wreck.
7. Castillo de Bellver: 252,000 tons A fire aboard the Castillo de Bellver, in August 1983, let to an explosion that caused the tanker to break in two. Oil spilled into the sea miles off the coast of Cape Town. This was the largest spill to date in South Africa. The oil spill was minimal as the wind moved the oil slick offshore where it dissipated naturally.
6. ABT Summer: 260,000 tons ABT Summer tanker, traveling from Iran to Rotterdam, leaked oil and caught on fire about 700 miles off the Angolan coast in 1991. This disaster killed five of the 32 crew member on board.
5. Nowruz oil field: 260.00o tons During first Gulf War, a tanker collided with a platform, February 10, 1983, spilling approximately 1,500 barrels each day, until the platform was attacked by Iraqi planes in March and the slick caught fire. The Nowruz oil field was not capped right away because the field was located in the middle of the Iran/Iraq war zone. Iran finally capped the well in September of that year. 11 People died in the spill
4. Fergana Valley: 285,000 tons One of Central Asia’s most densely populated in agricultural and industry, in the Fergana Valley, was the site of the largest inland oil spill in history in 1992.
3. Atlantic Empress/Aegean Captain: 287,000 tons A Greek oil tanker in July 1979, called the Atlantic Empress, collided with another ship, the Aegean Captain, during a tropical storm off the island of Tobago in the Caribbean Sea. This disaster killed 26 crew member and is the largest ship-based oil spill.
2. Ixtoc 1 oil well: 454,000 tons The Ixtoc 1 oil well exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in June 1979. The oil platform caught fire and collapsed, rupturing valves and making it very difficult to rescue personnel to control the damage. The spill continue until March 1980.
1. Gulf War oil spill: 1,360.00 – 1,500,00 tons The worst oil spill in history, the Gulf War oil spill spewed an estimated 8 million barrels of oil into the Persian Gulf after Iraqi forces opened valves of oil wells and pipelines as they retreated from Kuwait in 1991. The oil slick reached a maximum size of 101 miles by 42 and was five inches thick.
What safety measures can be put into place to stop explosions of Oil wells?
Do we yet know what caused the “Horizon” oil rig to catch fire/explode?