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10 largest oil spills in history

Oil. Crude oil. Petroleum. Fossil fuel. Motion lotion. Black gold. Black gloop. Devil’s blood. Whatever you want to call oil, you are dependent on it every day. Not only does refined oil drive your car and heat your house, you’ll also find it in many other products. 19.4 gallons of a 42-gallon barrel of oil is used to make gasoline (petrol);  the rest (more than half) is used in things such as chewing gum, crayons, dentures, deodorant, dishwashing liquid, ink, lipstick, shampoo and thousands of other products. And in the few seconds you have read this paragraph, the world would have burnt up another 30 000 barrels of oil (1 000 barrels of oil per second)!

That is one side of oil. The other side is oil spills. And they’re real ugly.  Here is a list of the 10 largest oil spills in history:

1. Niger Delta – Nigeria – daily for past 50 years – Amount spilled thus far: guesstimated 500 million gallons.

2. Arabian Gulf/Kuwait – Persian Gulf, Kuwait – Jan. 19, 1991 – Amount spilled: 380-520 million gallons.

3. Gulf Oil Spill – Gulf of Mexico – April 22, 2010 –  Amount spilled: estimated 184 million gallons.

4. Ixtoc 1 Oil Spill – Bay of Campeche off Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico – June 3, 1979 – Amount spilled: 140 million gallons.

5. Atlantic Empress Oil Spill – Off the coast of Trinidad and Tobago – July 19, 1979 – Amount spilled: 90 million gallons.

6. Kolva River Oil Spill – Kolva River, Russia – Aug. 6, 1983 – Amount spilled: 84 million gallons.

7. Nowruz Oil Field Spill – Persian Gulf, Iran – Feb. 10, 1983 – Amount spilled: 80 million gallons.

8. Castillo de Bellver Oil Spill – Saldanha Bay, South Africa – Aug. 6, 1983 – Amount spilled: 79 million gallons.

9. Amoco Cadiz Oil Spill – Portsall, France – March 16, 1978 – Amount spilled: 69 million gallons.

10. ABT Summer Oil Spill – 700 nautical miles off the coast of Angola – May 28, 1991 – Amount spilled: 51-81 million gallons.

Total of top 10 oil spills: about 1.2 billion gallons of oil. That is 17% of the annual use of the United States.

And by the time you have read this far, the world would have burnt up another 120 000 barrels of oil.

Source: Mother Nature Network

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07/20/2010. Category: nature. Tags: , .

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