Sunday, 27 February 2011

Largest US Oil Spill

The sinking and subsequent gushing oil spill caused by the Deep Water Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico is certainly the oil spill of the day. It is extremely damaging and the news just keeps pounding it down our throat.
The pictures are dramatic, but it is not the biggest oil spill we have had in the U.S. As a matter of fact it isn't even close and probably doesn't even have the ability to be.
The title of the biggest oil spill in America goes to the Lakeview Gusher in 1909. This was a spectacular gusher that spewed out as much as 90,000 barrels of oil per day at one point. The worst part is, it went on and on for about 18 months. That's right, it was so powerful that work crews did not have the technology or the ability to stop it for around 1 and a half years.
It took the Lakeview Oil Company over 2 months to drill the well, and with all the derricks already producing everyone knew there was a lot of oil in the ground. When they got down to just past the 2,400 foot mark, they found it for sure. It was so strong that it blew all the pipes out of the ground and shot oil hundreds of feet in the air.
The blowout was so large that a black mist of oil could be seen from miles away and workers had to create a containment wall to stop the river of crude. Eventually this containment turned into a literal lake of oil.
During the 18 months this gusher ran out of control it dumped a staggering 9 million barrels of oil on the ground.
They finally got it under control and capped when the pressure dropped down to a manageable level in September of 1911.
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