Sinking of Deepwater Horizon (02:18)
Imagine if the cataclysmic oil spill hadn't been contained and marine life disappeared. Key moments in the ecological disaster include Deepwater Horizon becoming operational, sinking to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, and British Petroleum (BP) plugging the leak.
Black Gold (02:27)
Petroleum has benefitted humankind for over 200 years. Learn how pressure and temperature create oil from layers of sediment and carbon material. A layer of impervious rock generates reservoirs under the earth.
Memory of Humanity (04:04)
Imagine our world without hydrocarbon; cars, trucks, and boats run exclusively on oil. In Titusville, Edwin L. Drake extracts petroleum for the first time in America. Deposits of crude oil are discovered around the world.
Off Shore Drilling (02:16)
Oil rigs are constructed to tap deposits in the North Sea. The Deepwater Horizon readjusts its position constantly to keep the drill vertical. Mud keeps it cool, stabilizes pressure, and evacuates debris.
Deepwater Horizon Accident (03:33)
43 miles of the American Coast, the team in charge of the deep drilling leaves the Deepwater Horizon platform without conducting all the required tests. A pressure check test comes back negative. Oil and gas begin to seep out due to a fault in the cement plug; the well erupts.
Fighting an Oil Spill (03:06)
Because petroleum does not dissolve in water, oil spills can damage marine life and prevent photosynthesis. Floating dams can be constructed to prevent it from reaching the coastline. Over 100 men are trapped on the Deepwater Horizon until a supply boat rescues them; the platform sinks.
Sealing the Leak (03:16)
BP launches rescue drilling operations; a state of emergency is declared. The Coast Guard authorizes the use of Corexit 9500 which damages the eco-system in the Gulf of Mexico. Engineers manage to stem the flow of oil and inject cement to stop the leak.
Aftermath of Oil Spill (04:07)
Impact to wildlife, vegetation, and the coastline is impossible to quantify. Barrels produced are a source of tension; oil causes global warming. Humans need to find alternative forms of energy that are renewable.
Credits: Deepwater Horizon, An Ecological Disaster (00:47)
Credits: Deepwater Horizon, An Ecological Disaster
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