The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was an industrial disaster that began on 20 April 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect, considered to be the largest marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. After several failed efforts to contain the flow, the well was declared sealed on 19 September 2010.
The spill prompted a massive clean-up effort by BP contractors that lasted for months.
Deepwater Horizon drilling rig
The Deepwater Horizon was a semi-submersible, mobile, floating dynamically positioned drilling rig operable in waters up to 3,000m deep. It was built by the South Korean company Hyundai Heavy Industries and owned by Transocean, the rig operated under the Marshallese flag of convenience, and was chartered to BP from March 2008 to September 2013. By 2010, the rig had drilled a deep exploratory well, 5,600m below sea level. It was situated in the Macondo Prospect in Mississippi Canyon Block 252 of the Gulf of Mexico. The Macondo Prospect was BP-operated as well being the primary developer with a 65% share.
At approximately 7:45 pm CDT, on 20 April 2010, high-pressure methane gas from the well expanded into the marine riser and rose into the drilling rig, where it ignited and exploded, engulfing the platform. Platform supply vessels continued to battle the blazing remnants of the rig. A coast guard helicopter documented the fire while searching for survivors. Out of the 105 crew members, 94 were rescued, 17 of which were treated for injuries. 11 people were never found and suspected to have died. The rig sunk two days later.
Volume and extent of oil spill
The oil leak was discovered on the afternoon of 22 April 2010 when a large oil slick began to spread at the former rig site. The total estimated volume of leaked oil approximated 4.9 million barrels (780,000 m3) with plus or minus 10% uncertainty, including oil that was collected, making it the world's largest accidental spill. As of July 2011, about 790 km of coastline in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida were contaminated by oil and a total of 1,728 km had been oiled since the spill began. Two weeks after the wellhead was capped on 15 July 2010, the surface oil appeared to have dissipated, while an unknown amount of subsurface oil remained. In 2013, some scientists at the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference said that as much as one-third of the oil may have mixed with deep ocean sediments, where it risks damage to ecosystems and commercial fisheries. It was first thought that oil had not reached as far as Tampa Bay, Florida; however, a study done in 2013 found that one of the plumes of dispersant-treated oil had reached a shelf 130 km off the Tampa Bay region.
The Cleanup of Deepwater Horizon was contracted out for billions. Workers under contract from BP cleaned up the oily waste along most of the Louisianan coastline. A month after the explosion, hundreds of workers assisted in the clean up of Elmer's Island, just west of Grand Isle. On 15 April 2014, BP announced that cleanup along the coast was substantially complete.
The oil spill was one of many Templar conspiracies, in a plot to spread capitalism and undermine democracy. However, the Templars mocked the capitalists as fools in favor of "Optional slavery in exchange for pieces of paper." They exhibited an attitude of harnessing the elements with the complacency of the people, away from people. The Templars also showed contempt for capitalists doing whatever they told them, after all they were the ones printing all their money. They did not run companies for profit, so when such an "accident" befell them, they regarded it as nothing. BP later released a 193-page report shifting blame onto Halliburton and Transocean.
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (appears in Rifts only)