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What caused the BP oil spill


This is an oil spill case against the BP oil company. The spill occurred on April 20th 2010 when a deepwater oil well exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. The immediate effect was that it killed 11 people and injured 17 others.

Oil leaked at a high rate therefore making it difficult to calculate. It is however estimated at 40,000 barrels a day. The oil posed risks to the environment and affected local industries.

The government asked for $20 billion in damages from BP and BP’s share price fell as a result. Local industries such as fishing were threatened. There was a ban on fishing in the water at the time due to this. Tourism declined in the region also due to the spill.

Environmental impact of the oil spill was that plants and animals were completely covered in the oil. Seabirds, sea turtles and dolphins were found dead. Oil entered the wetland areas meaning recovery would be slow. Fish stocks were harmed, and productivity decreased.

The size of the oil spill was one of the largest America had seen. Due to entry of the oil into warm waters, organisms in the water helped to breakdown the oil.

The overall impact may be less than Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in 1989 which happened in colder water. That however does not excuse the company’s lack of application of safety measures to counter such problems and instances.

The company may have faced losses in compensation as well as reputation but this in no way brings back the lives lost in the incident.


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