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Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

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As explosion burst and oil leaked into the ocean. Billions of dollars rushed to the surface and water seemed to be on fire, but only oil burned. The uncontrollable fire burned up the derrick of Deepwater Horizon ,48 miles off the coast of Louisiana. British Productions (BP) leased Deepwater Horizon from Transocean, an oil rig company, which had the largest oil spill in U.S. history. The blowout, a large release of crude oil from the formation of oil, is more devastating offshore. It is more dangerous because you cannot run to safety. The water pushes harder on the already compressed formation so even more oil is released. BP’s blowout had a large political, environmental, and economical effect.Offshore oil rigs have many parts the run it.

Deepwater Horizon had a derrick used to insert piping into the hole using the catwalk. It was a semi submersible and was not connected to the ocean floor, so it had a propulsion operating system for it to stay in place and to keep the pipe from bending. Deepwater Horizon was a MODU designed with a platform-type deck that contains drilling equipment and other machinery supported by pontoon-type columns. Deepwater Horizon was a fifth-generation, RBS-8D design , deepwater, dynamically positioned, column-stabilized,semi-submersible mobile offshore drilling unit, designed to drill subsea wells for oil exploration and production using an 18.75 in, 15,000 psi blowout preventer, and a 21 in outside diameter marine riser.

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At 9:45 P.M. on 20 April 2010, during the final phases of drilling the exploratory well at Macondo, a geyser of seawater erupted from the marine reservoir on the rig, shooting 240 ft into the air. This was soon followed by the eruption of a slushy combination of drilling mud, methane gas, and water. The gas component of the slushy material quickly transitioned into a fully gaseous state and then ignited into a series of explosions and then a firestorm. An attempt was made to activate the blowout preventer, but it failed. The final defense to prevent an oil spill, a device known as a blind shear ram, was activated but failed to plug the well.

At the time of the explosion, there were 126 crew on board; seven were employees of BP, 79 of Transocean, there were also employees of various other companies involved in the operation of the rig, including Anadarko, Halliburton and M-I SWACO. Eleven workers were presumed killed in the initial explosion. The rig was evacuated, with injured workers airlifted to medical facilities. After approximately 36 hours, Deepwater Horizon sank on 22 April 2010. The remains of the rig were located resting on the seafloor approximately 5,000 ft deep at that location, and about 1,300 ft northwest of the well.The resultant oil spill continued until 15 July when it was closed by a cap.Relief wells were used to permanently seal the well, which was declared “Effectively dead” on 19 September 2010.

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Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. (2022, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from
“Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2022,
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 8 Feb. 2023].
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 15 [cited 2023 Feb 8]. Available from:
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