NOAA: 10th Anniversary of Deepwater Horizon/Gulf Oil Spill Disaster

April 20, 2020

Nice video, informative.

Decades of work still ahead to restore the Gulf.
We don’t need to keep doing this.

AP News:

Ten years after an oil rig explosion killed 11 workers and unleashed an environmental nightmare in the Gulf of Mexico, companies are drilling into deeper and deeper waters, where the payoffs can be huge but the risks are greater than ever.

Industry leaders and government officials say they’re determined to prevent a repeat of BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster. It spilled 134 million gallons of oil that fouled beaches from Louisiana to Florida, killed hundreds of thousands of marine animals and devastated the region’s tourist economy.

Yet safety rules adopted in the spill’s aftermath have been eased as part of President Donald Trump’s drive to boost U.S. oil production. And government data reviewed by The Associated Press shows the number of safety inspection visits has declined in recent years, although officials say checks of electronic records, safety systems and individual oil rig components have increased.

Today companies are increasingly reliant on production from deeper and inherently more dangerous oil reserves, where drill crews can grapple with ultra-high pressures and oil temperatures that can top 350 degrees (177 degrees Celsius).

Despite almost $2 billion in spending by the industry on equipment to respond to an oil well blowout like BP’s, some scientists, former government officials and environmentalists say safety practices appear to be eroding. And there are worries that cleanup tactics have changed little in decades and are likely to prove as ineffective as they were in 2010.


The oil pollution in the fish included levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, known as PAHs. The toxic crude oil component was found in the bile of the fish. Fish bile, found in their livers, stores waste and aids digestion.As researchers learned during and after the spill, not all oil floats. Instead, it finds its way to the seafloor as well. 

While high levels of PAHs were expected in tilefish, which live in seafloor burrows where oil and PAHs are still found, the levels have been increasing over time.The researchers noted high levels in species of grouper, specifically yellowedge grouper. The concentration of oil pollution in their liver tissue and bile increased more than 800% between 2011 and 2017.

“This was the first baseline study of its kind, and it’s shocking that we haven’t done this before given the economic value of fisheries and petroleum extraction in the Gulf of Mexico,” Steven Murawksi said in a statement. Murawksi is lead of the international research effort and professor of fisheries biology at the University of South Florida. “Literally all the fish that we’ve tested have some level of hydrocarbon; there are no pristine fish in this system.”

2 Responses to “NOAA: 10th Anniversary of Deepwater Horizon/Gulf Oil Spill Disaster”

  1. doldrom Says:

    Always so much cheaper to make a mess.

    Unless you have to be doing the cleaning yourself in person.

    Don’t fix the executive compensation, just give the CEO a community service sentence that ends when there’s nothing left to clean up and fix.

  2. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Never believe corporate executives, management, public relations, or bought politicians about how safe something is. DH had a jaw-dropping number of failed components. Curiously, one defective component managed to work because two electrical system failures partially canceled each other out:

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