Friday, May 28, 2010
clipped from: news.bbc.co.uk
In that spill, the exploratory oil well Ixtoc 1 suffered a blowout and wasn't capped until more than nine months later, having released 461,000 tonnes of oil in total.
Only two of the spills in our list of the world's largest originated from oil rig explosions, the rest are tanker-related.
But far bigger than any of these peacetime accidents is the amount of oil spilled in the immediate aftermath of the first Iraq War, 1991. Although not a single offshore spill, it saw massive oil leaks that easily dwarf Ixtoc 1 with an estimated 1.4 million to 1.5 million tonnes of oil released into the Persian Gulf by Iraqi forces as they retreated from Kuwait.