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Oil Approaches Gulf Coast

Submitted by admin on 2010-04-30

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Disaster struck in the Gulf of Mexico just over a week ago when a BP owned oil well exploded just a short distance off the United States coast, the explosion is believed to have killed 11 people who remain missing. Though this explosion was just the beginning of the disaster, since the 20th April there has been extremely large amounts of oil being released into the Gulf through this damaged oil well.

Oil rigs contain something called a 'blowout preventer' which is supposed to shut down the well in such situations, though the blowout preventer has failed in the attempt to stem this problem, a factor which BP is saying shifts the blame onto Transocean Ltd.

The situation is only getting worse at the moment, with oil spreading outwards from the oil well and heading towards the United States coast lines. On Thursday 29th April the oil spill was gaining ground and only a few miles from the Louisiana coast. Currently the shores of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida are all at immediate risk, with officials saying it could reach as far east as Florida by as soon as next week.

One of the worst parts about this disaster is the fact that birds are one of the animals who suffer most during an oil spill, and during the Spring months they tend to nest along the Gulf coast. Not only will the oil have a direct impact on the birds own safety, the oil could kill the local marine life which the birds feed on. The Gulf coast has plenty of marine life which will most likely suffer in large numbers due to this oil spill. Divers along the Gulf coast looking at getting their first dives of the Spring/Summer season in may have to wait a while. It is likely that the situation could remain for weeks or even months as officials attempt to find possible ways to contain the oil leak, and then there is of course the clean-up efforts which will need to be done once the flow is stemmed. Currently there is no end in sight to this horrendous situation, despite numerous attempts at keeping the oil from spreading as the oil pumps out at over 800 000 litres each day.

Something else to worry about may be the up-coming hurricane season. Should there still be large traces of oil left in the ocean in a month or two's time there could be trouble as hurricanes often tend to form in and around the Gulf of Mexico. Should one of these storms move from the Gulf towards the Gulf coast, as they almost always do it would increase the distribution of the oil to extreme extents, and if a storm was large enough it could even surge oil-filled waters onto the beaches and streets.

Here is to hoping that the situation is resolved as soon as possible and that clean-up efforts can begin. It's a shame mankind has come to a point where nearly everything he does has the potential to destroy the wonders of nature around us. How much more are we going to stand around and take before solutions to these problems are made?


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