The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill started on April 20, 2010. It was caused initially by the leaking, and later explosion of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig. It is considered to be the largest marine oil spill in history, contaminating the Gulf of Mexico with over 4.9 million barrels of crude oil (which is the equivalent of approximately 800 million litres). The Deepwater horizon rig was owned by an oil drilling company by the name of Trans-Ocean, who had rented the reservoir to British Petroleum, popularly known as BP. The main cause of the pollution, was a burst in one of the major pipes of the rig (“Deepwater”). Scientifically, the Deepwater Horizon rig was not physically strong enough to support and extract oil from the reservoir it was located above. Crude oil can have different pressures, depending on how deep the reservoir is, the location of the reservoir in terms of elevation, and also amount of heat and gas present. (“crude”)

Usually, the deeper the reservoir is, there will be increased pressure, because of increased crude and gasses that cause increased pressure. Deeper reservoirs require stronger piping, and BOPs (Blowout Preventers, which open and close the entrance to the well of the reservoir). However, as a result of corporate budgeting, and BPs unwillingness to address the fact that the Deepwater Horizon reservoir required a stronger rig in general, a major pipe burst open, which started spreading oil into the gulf. The Blowout Preventer also failed at closing, because it could not handle the pressure that was being exerted from the Crude Reservoir. (Gates)

This resulted in the leaking of oil to continue. The oil either floated to the surface of the gulf, or was trapped deep beneath the oceans, not in any way, mixing with the water. This is because water and oil are different in the sense that water is a polar molecule, and oil (in this case, crude oil) is a non-polar molecule. Polar molecules are unique in the sense that they have some unique traits: They have the ability of cohesion, which makes the same polar molecules stick together. They also have the ability of adhesion, which allows them to stick to other polar molecules. Because of Adhesion they have the ability of Capillary Action which lets them move up through surfaces. The Polarity of water does not allow it to mix with other Nonpolar molecules, such as crude oil, for instance.This inability to bond between molecules, makes the oil either sink to the bottom of the gulf (5,000 feet deep), or rise to the very surface of the ocean; in between these two layers of oil, is the water which is coherent with each other. (“chemical”)


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