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The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also called the BP oil spill, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the BP oil disaster or the Macondo blowout)[1][2][3] is an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the largest marine oil spill in history.[4][5] The spill was caused by an oil gusher that resulted from the drilling rig explosion on April 20, 2010. The explosion killed 11 platform workers and injured 17 others.[6] On July 15, the leak was stopped by capping the gushing wellhead[7] after letting out about 4.9 million barrels (780×103 m3) of crude oil.[8] About 53,000 barrels per day (8,400 m3/d) were escaping from the well just before it was capped. It is believed that the daily flow rate decreased over time, starting at about 62,000 barrels per day (9,900 m3/d).[8]

The spill is causing great environmental damage to marine and wildlife habitats as well as the Gulf's fishing and tourism industries.[9][10] Scientists have also reported large underwater plumes of dissolved oil not visible from the top.[11] Workers have been working to protect hundreds of miles of beaches, wetlands, and estuaries along the northern Gulf coast. The U.S. Government has named BP as responsible, and officials have decided to hold the company accountable for all cleanup costs and other damage.[12]


  1. "The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill". 2010-05-05. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  2. White (2010-05-03). "BP's oil slickers; Bosses who earn millions claimed they could handle rig explosions". Daily Mirror: p. 14. Retrieved 2010-05-13. 
  3. Guegel, A.; Wright, A.P.B.; Brenner, N. (2010-05-10). "BP 'army' battles Macondo flow". Upstream Online (NHST Media Group). Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  4. "BP leak the world's worst accidental oil spill". London: Telegraph. 2010-08-03. Retrieved 2010-08-15. 
  5. Staff (2010-05-27). "Obama, in Gulf, pledges to push on stopping leak". USA Today. Wire services. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  6. Welch, William; Joyner, Chris (2010-05-25). "Memorial Services Honors 11 Dead Oil Rig Workers". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  7. "BP begins pressure test on well cap". Yahoo! 7 News. 2010-07-15. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Robertson, Campbell; Krauss, Clifford (2010-08-02). "Gulf Spill Is the Largest of Its Kind, Scientists Say". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  9. Tangley, Laura (2010-04-30). "Bird Habitats Threatened by Oil Spill". National Wildlife (National Wildlife Federation). Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  10. Gulf Oil Slick Endangering Ecology [Flash streaming]. CBS Broadcasting. Retrieved on 2010-05-01.
  11. Gillis, Justin (2010-05-18). "Giant Plumes of Oil Forming Under the Gulf". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  12. Staff (2010-05-01). "Guard mobilized, BP will foot bill". Politico Blog (Capitol News Company LLC). Retrieved 2010-05-01. 

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