Crude Oil Spills: A Worldwide Contaminant (Part 1) - Page 2
Another case on a different continental shelf: Nowruz oil field, Persian Gulf, 1983: After a tanker hit a rig off the coast of Iran, the rig began leaking 1,500 barrels a day. Because Iran and Iraq were at war, the oil flow was not stopped, and the platform was later attacked by Iraqi warplanes. Later, a second platform was attacked, and initially spilled 5,000 barrels a day before slowing to 1,500. Two years passed before Iran capped the wells, but by then some 733,000 barrels of oil had spilled into the Persian Gulf.
Yet another case closer to home: Santa Barbara, Calif., 1969: A blowout at a well five miles off the coast of Santa Barbara caused a leak that flowed for 11 days. According to a report by the University of California, Santa Barbara, the spill affected 800 square miles of ocean and coated 35 miles of coastline with oil. It led to the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency and a moratorium on offshore drilling in California.
How about in a continent south of the hemisphere? Another case: Montara, Australia, 2009: An oil well in the Timor Sea, off the coast of Western Australia, began leaking, and the platform subsequently caught fire. The well spewed oil for more than two months, leaking as much as 2,000 barrels a day before it was capped, making it one of the worst spills in Australian history. Christian Science Monitor, May 24, 2010.