Is the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill the worst?

This article was last updated on May 19, 2022

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The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is a disaster but how does it compare in history

The battle to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico is one step forward and two steps back. Yesterday, BP confirmed that the new cap had contained and captured 620,000 gallons of oil.

That means the scientists estimate of the actual flow rate was probably too low. They just don’t know. But they are going back to the drawing board to sort it out.
In the meantime the underwater sea of oil is suspected but no one has been able to find it. For more on today’s latest findings, see The Washington Post  Officials cite progress in siphoning oil, but remain unclear on size of spill
So is this the worst oil disaster of all time? Actually, not. It’s still bigger than Exxon Valdex but less than 1/10th the size of the Iraq Gulf War spill. For a pictorial view of the disaster, click to the next page.

Oil Spill Timeline
April 20, 2010, chaos struck on the Gulf of Mexico as a BP oil rig began to leak millions of gallons of oil into the Ocean; destroying sea life, birds and many local’s livelihood, as well as being declared as a National disaster by Barrack Obama – and now having a severe effect the price of oil throughout the world. We take a look at just what happened since that day, and how BP managed to cap the potential world crisis.

We verified two bits of data in this illustration – the current estimate of the Gulf of Mexico spill and the Iraq Gulf War spill. You should take the rest under advisement.
Illustration from Iglucruise is a UK based cruise travel agency. Data sourced from the BBC.
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  1. Curious how the spill size is compared to other spill sizes when the actual number of oil gushing from the Horizon well is almost completely unknown. Seems like a pathetic attempt to marginalize the damage and size of the disaster.

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