Deepwater Horizon: Disaster in the Gulf - Summary

Do you know how much oil is beneath the Gulf of Mexico? Experts estimate about 3.6 billion barrels, but that amount would only satisfy America’s oil needs for about 6 months! Offshore drilling is expensive, time-consuming and there are environmental risks; this became clear when the oil rig, Deepwater Horizonexploded and sank in 2010.

Discover why and how long it takes oil to form. Study the explanation of this natural occurring process provided by the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Did you know that oil eventually seeps to the surface from underground? Because America’s need for oil is so great, oilmen do not want to wait for the surface seepage. They want to drill directly into the ground or seabed and capture oil from its source. Read about seismic technology that assists in locating offshore oil where much of our oil is found. The Gulf of Mexico contains most oil reserves and almost 4,000 oil rigs to drill for it.

Some Gulf oil is contained in the Mississippi Canyon, an area almost a mile below sea level. Learn how offshore drillers on oil rigs locate and use tools to capture the oil. Discover the process by which areas of oil are leased and drilled. Read portions of a lease agreement for Deepwater Horizon oil that did notguarantee safe handling of a ‘worst case scenario.’

Meet Mike Williams, the man in charge of Deepwater Horizon’s computers and electrical systems. Learn, through his report, the incidents that began a month prior to the actual explosion. Discover the importance of a blowout preventer and how Deepwater Horizon’s failed. Relive through Mike’s story, the moments as the rig was exploding and how he saved his life by jumping off the 10-story rig into oily, burning water.

The explosion killed 11 men and sank the oil rig. The uncapped oil well pumped between half a million and a million gallons a day for over four months into the Gulf waters.


NOAA and NASA mapped the areas where the oil plume spread. Watch as the oil moves from the original location to the shores of the Gulf Coast. It is the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: May 01, 2010

Updated Last Revision: Apr 22, 2018

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"Deepwater Horizon: Disaster in the Gulf" AwesomeStories.com. May 01, 2010. Feb 26, 2020.
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