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The 10 Biggest Oil Spills In World History - Final Part
« on: May 14, 2013, 11:50:25 AM »
Since the dawn of modern oil exploitation in the 19th century, a sad but inevitable truth has rung true: accidents happen and oil spills. The ten biggest oil disasters in the oil and gas industry on this list amount to a cumulative hydrocarbon loss of 40.8 million barrels and cost 53 lives.

2. Lakeview Gusher Number One

Period:                  March 14th, 1910
Location:               Midway-Sunset Oil Field, Kern County, California
Casualties:            n/a
Amount spilled:     9.4 million barrels (395 million gallons)

A full century before the Deepwater Horizon incident, the USA suffered the largest accidental oil spill in human history. A blowout of the wellhead on Lakeview’s Number One well began an irrepressible oil flow of 18,000 barrels per day for 18 months.

With an estimated initial flow of 125,000 barrels a day, drill chief Charlie Woods commented that Lakeview #1: "Must have cut an artery of the earth's great central storehouse of oil, whereas all previous wells had been merely pinpricks in the earth's thick hide."

The well died on September 10, 1911 after 544 days of continuous flow. Although an arrangement of sandbag berms and dikes channeled the river of oil produced into a storage lake, less than half of this amount was salvaged for consumption with the majority evaporating off or seeping back into the ground.

1. The Gulf War Oil Spill

Period:                 January 19th , 1991
Location:              Persian Gulf & Kuwait
Casualties:           n/a
Amount spilled:    9.05 – 12.4 million barrels (380-520 million gallons)

As the Parthian shot fired in their retreat from Kuwait during the first Gulf War, Iraqi forces opened the valves of Kuwaiti oil wells and pipelines.

This sabotage was initiated in a bid to slow the advance of American troops and to make the securing of oil reserves problematic for invaders.

The resultant oil spill coated the Persian Gulf in 10 centimeter thick crude and spanned an area in excess of 28,000 square kilometers, roughly the size of Albania.

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