Humans have used petroleum or oil for thousands of years in medicine and weapons of war. However, the use of this material did not truly surge until the Industrial Revolution —where oil became valuable as both a fuel for illumination and a lubricant —before it became a replacement for wood, coal, animal power, and other sources of energy. Liquid petroleum had some significant advantages over other energy sources of the times: it was concentrated, and it could be transported easily from one place to another. As oil use boomed, its refined products such as gasoline and diesel came to be used to fuel automobiles , ships , and other vehicles, and a worldwide system of wells, ships, storage terminals, and pipelines grew. As a result of old and damaged equipment, human error, and bad luck, extracting oil from the ground and moving it to refineries and beyond occasionally releases oil into the environment. The largest spills have released tens of millions of gallons of oil and have resulted in fouled coastlines, polluted fisheries, dead and injured wildlife, and lost tourism revenue.
This is a reverse-chronological list of oil spills that have occurred throughout the world and spill s that are currently ongoing. Quantities are measured in tonnes of crude oil with one tonne roughly equal to US gallons , Imperial gallons , 7. This calculation uses a median value of 0.
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The data and research currently presented here is a preliminary collection or relevant material. We will further develop our work on this topic in the future to cover it in the same detail as for example our entry on World Population Growth. If you have expertise in this area and would like to contribute, apply here to join us as a researcher. Over the past four and half decades — the time for which we have data — oil spills from tankers decreased very substantially. The dataset by the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation ITOPF covers more than four decades over which time the incidence of large oil spills from tankers greatly decreased. While in the s there were Both, large oil spills and medium sized oil spills tonnes are decreasing.
Global Oil and Gas Intelligence. Since the dawn of modern oil exploitation in the 19 th century, a sad but inevitable truth has rung true: accidents happen and oil spills. The ten biggest oil disasters in the oil and gas industry and gas industry in this list amount to a cumulative hydrocarbons loss of A full century before the Deepwater Horizon incident, the USA suffered the largest accidental oil spill in human history. With an estimated initial flow of , barrels a day, drill chief Charlie Woods commented that Lakeview 1: "Must have cut an artery of the earth's great central storehouse of oil, whereas all previous wells had been merely pinpricks in the earth's thick hide. Although an arrangement of sandbag berms and dikes channeled the river of oil produced into a storage lake, less than half of this amount was salvaged for consumption with the majority evaporating off or seeping back into the ground.