The Deepwater Horizon Drilling Platforms

1651 Words Jan 13th, 2016 7 Pages
Over one hundred million gallons of crude oil saturated the Gulf of Mexico after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling prospect on April 10th, 2010. The explosion killed eleven people, resulting in one the worst local oil spills in U.S. history. For the next eighty seven days, sunken barrels continued to release oil into the Atlantic Ocean. The oil spread from the coast of Louisiana to about one hundred and forty miles into the gulf. The U.S. is trying to reduce the use of foreign oil by drilling within its own borders. As a result, the country is responsible for a large scale cleanup of the Atlantic Ocean. Demand for oil in the United States continues to rise, as petroleum oil is used to produce electricity, heating, and fuel automobiles. Though petroleum is crucial for the U.S. economy, extracting oil from an aquatic drilling platform is especially risky because of the devastating effects it can have on marine ecosystems.
The Deepwater Horizon drilling platform, also known as the Macondo prospect, was owned by Transocean and leased by BP (British Petroleum Company). It was one of many drilling platforms located near the coast of Louisiana, due to the large oil deposit that was discovered there in the 1990’s. Ships can use a variety of scientific instruments and methods to locate concentrations of oil; the two most commonly used are magnetometers and seismology. Crude oil deposits are buried deep in the ocean floor, separated by sand, mud, and rock layers.…
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