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BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico: One Year Later

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Published on Sep 23, 2011

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BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico: One Year Later

British Petroleum, more commonly known as BP, is a global oil and gas company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the third-largest energy company and fourth-largest company in the world measured by revenues and one of the six oil and gas giants.

On 20 April 2010, the semi-submersible exploratory offshore drilling rigm Deepwater Horizon, exploded after a blowout; it sank two days later, killing 11 people. This blowout in the Macondo Prospect field in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in a partially capped oil well one mile below the surface of the water. Experts estimate the gusher to be flowing at 35,000 to 60,000 barrels per day of oil. The exact flow rate was uncertain due to the difficulty of installing measurement devices at that depth and was a matter of ongoing debate. The resulting oil slick covered at least 2,500 square miles, fluctuating from day to day depending on weather conditions. It threatened the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, and Florida.

The drilling rig, DeepWater Horizon, was owned and operated by Transocean Ltd on behalf of BP, which is the majority owner of the Macondo oil field. At the time of the explosion, there were 126 crew on board; seven were employees of BP and 79 of Transocean. The US Government has named BP the responsible party, and officials have committed to hold the company accountable for all clean-up costs and other damage.

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