BP Oil Spill
EUR€0.88New Kobo Germany
In April 2010 an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing 11 men, then sank to the seabed, 1.5 kilometres below. The disaster caused crude oil to flow from the broken drill stem on the seabed for 87 days before the spill was arrested. By that stage over seven hundred million litres of crude oil had poured into the Gulf, causing the world's largest accidental oil spill. The Gulf is an area of high biodiversity that is critical not only for the livelihoods of many thousands of people but also for the survival of many species that are threatened with extinction. These include the sperm whale, marine turtles and the bluefin tuna. While the oil spill was bad, it was exacerbated by the use of a toxic dispersant called corexit that was. This was later found to have massively increased the toxicity of the spilt oil. The dispersant prevented the oil from coming to the surface where it could be collected. As such, it is estimated that about 30% of the oil remains on the bottom of the Gulf in a toxic emulsion with the dispersant. While the firms responsible paid a high financial price for the clean up efforts, the spill has poisoned an important and biodiverse water body and the impacts will be felt many years to come. The fact that this spill happened and took so long to bring under control is further evidence that petroleum exploration and extraction infrastructure needs to be written off and its refinery and distrubition infrastructure be used for processing green crude made from algae oil.