Here is a list of 10 major oil spills in history that caused severe oil pollution and irreparable damage to the ecosystem.
1. Amoco Cadiz – The Amoco Cadiz ran aground on Portsall Rocks, three miles off the coast of Brittany, France on March 16, 1978 due to stormy weather. Approximately 200 miles of the coastline was polluted as the entire cargo of 68.7 million gallons of oil was spilled into the sea.
2. Arabian Gulf Spills – About 900 million barrels of oil spilled into the Arabian Gulf as the Iraqi army destroyed tankers, oil terminals, and oil wells in Kuwait during the Gulf war in January 1991, resulting in one of the largest oil spill disasters ever.
3. Exxon Valdez – In what is regarded as the largest oil spill disaster in American history, the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska on March 24, 1989, spilling 10.8 million gallons of oil. The cleanup alone cost $2.5 billion.
4. Ixtoc I – The exploratory well blew out on June 3, 1979 in the Gulf of Mexico and by the time the well was brought under control, 140 million gallons of oil had spilled. This is rated as No. 2 on the list of worst oil spill incidents on record.
5. Burmah Agate – The Burmah Agate collided with the Mimosa in Galveston harbor on November 1, 1979 to cause one of the most infamous marine oil spills.
6. Atlantic Empress – The Greek oil tanker Atlantic Empress was involved in two major oil spills when it collided with the Aegean Captain off Trinidad and Tobago during a tropical rainstorm on July 19, 1979. The spills together are the largest ship-based spill and the fourth largest total oil spill in history.
7. Argo Oil Merchant - On December 15, 1976 the Argo Merchant ran aground on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts spilling 7.7 million US gallons of fuel oil, enough to heat 18,000 homes for a year.
8. Prestige Oil Spill – The largest environmental disaster ever in Spain, the sinking of the oil tanker Prestige off the Galician coast on November 13, 2002 caused considerable damage to the local fishing industry.
9. Barge Bouchard 155 – Three ships, the barge Bouchard 155, the freighter Balsa 37, and the barge Ocean 255, collided in Tampa Bay, Florida, on August 10, 1993. The Bouchard 155 alone spilled an estimated 336,000 gallons of No.6 fuel oil.
10. Southeast Queensland – The cleanup efforts were estimated at a staggering A$100,000 dollars a day in one of the recent oil spill disasters, which occurred on March 11, 2009 off the coast of southeast Queensland.
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