The Horizon Oil Rig Explosion

1416 Words Jan 28th, 2016 6 Pages
The 2010 Horizon Oil Rig Explosion
On April 20th, 2010 an explosion occurred that would be considered one of the worst oil spills in U.S. history. The explosion was cause by a surge of natural gas that made it way to the Horizon rig’s platform that ignited. This caused the rig to capsize and sink, thus breaking risers that were being use to counter act the large amount of pressure from oil and natural gasses (Pallardy, 2015). The explosion killed 11 workers and injured 17 others. The explosion caused a massibe leak in the oil wellhead. It took 87 days for the wellhead to be closed and it is estimated that over that time around 210 million gallons of oil leaked into the gulf (Gulf Oil Spill, 2011). BP workers tried to activate a blowout prevent that was part of the Horizon rig’s design. This mechanism was supposed to close off any way to draw out oil bu the mechanism malfunctioned due to the pressure form the gas and oil that cause the explosion (Pallardy, 2015). The explosion happened a few miles from the “Loop Current” which is a large current of warm water in the Gulf that covers a massive amount of distance making it easy from the oil to spread (Treudaburg & Gramling, 2010). Over the next couple of months they tried a variety of different caps to try to stem the flow of oil but they were generally unsuccessful and oil still leaked through. It wasn’t until July that the flow was finally stopped by a functional blowout preventer cap (Pallardy, 2015).
Impacts on Coral…
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