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Bioremediation
Oil Spills
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     Oil spills account for a fairly small portion of the total environmental damage around the world today. Nonetheless, between 1970 and 2003, there were an estimated 5, 603, 000 tonnes of oil spilled into our water!  That's a lot of oil!  That number is based only on spills over 7 tonnes in magnitude.  Now consider this, 84% of all oil spills are less than 7 tonnes.  This means that 5,603,000 tonnes accounts for only 14% of the total number of oil spills. 

IXTOC I
ixtox.jpg
IXTOC I is an exploratory well that exploded and spilled 140 million gallons of oil in 1979-80.

*Note: Clicking on the picture will take you to a website with a bit more information about the incident.

     The number of major oil spills has decreased significantly over the last 30 years.  There are approximately one-seventh the number of major oil spills nowadays compared to what there was in the 70s. The largest spill occurred in 1979 when the Atlantic Empress collided with another oil carrying ship and spilled 287, 000 tonnes of oil into the ocean before sinking.  This is the world record for the most oil spilled in an oil tanker accident. 

Number of Oil Spills Over
spillsperyearchart.jpg
Clicking on the picture will take you to a website with other interesting facts about oil spills.

Quantity of Oil Spilled Year
quantityofspillsperyearchart.jpg
Clicking on this picture will take you to a website with other interesting facts about oil spills.

     The quantity of oil spills per year has been decreasing fairly steadily, with a few exceptions.  These charts can be somewhat misleading individually.  For example, look at the year 1991.  On the number of spills chart, it is shown as a fairly good year with only about 7 major oil spills.  However, when you look at the chart of the quantity of oil spilled per year, it is a different story.  In 1991, there were 430,000 tonnes of oil spilled.  On top of all that, over half of that 430,000 was form one spill.  The ABT Summer was approximately 700 nautical miles off the coast of Angola when it expolded, allowing 260,000 tonnes of oil to leak into the ocean.