The 10 Biggest Oil Spills In World History - 4 Ixtoc 1 Oil Spill

Oil & Gas IQ

Since the dawn of modern oil exploitation in the 19th century, a sad but inevitable truth has rung true: accidents happen and oil spills. The ten biggest oil disasters in the oil and gas industry on this list amount to a cumulative hydrocarbons loss of 40.8 million barrels and cost 53 lives:

4. Ixtoc 1 Oil Spill

When: June 3rd, 1979
Where: Bay of Campeche off Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico
Casualties: None
Amount spilled: 3.33 million barrels (140 million gallons)

Just 46 days before the Atlantic Empress/Aegean Oil Spill,a well blowout caused the Pemex-owned drill rig to explode and collapse. All 63 hands on board were rescued after the explosion, but oil began gushing out of the ruptured well and into the Gulf of Mexico at a rate of 10,000 to 30,000 barrels a day. PEMEX began drilling two horizontal relief wells soon after the spill but did not reach the Ixtoc 1 well until November.

The well was finally capped on March 25, 1980, some ten months after the original incident, having affected 2,800 km2 of open water and 261 km of shoreline.


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