The Top Ten Worst Oil Spills

7. Castillo de Bellver, South Africa, 1983 – 79 million gallons

The Castillo de Bellver was carrying 252,000 tons on August 6, 1983. The ship caught fire when it was nearly 10 miles off of Cape Town and burst into pieces as the first explosion took place. 50,000 to 60,000 tons of oil sank or burned during explosion. The ship was then towed to shore and forced to sink in the sea as it was of no use after the mishap. The wind shift changed the direction of the oil back away from the coast and the oil never reached the shores.

Castillo de Bellver, South Africa
Castillo de Bellver, South Africa

6. Nowruz Oil Field, Persian Gulf, 1983 – 80 million gallons

During the Iran-Iraq War, year 1983 was the worst year for the Nowruz Oil Field. Series of incidents took place and leading to a vast devastation of the Oil field and huge economic loss. The incident took its shape from an oil tanker which collided into an oil platform in the Persian Gulf. The collision caused the Platform to fall, waves and daily corrosion eventually caused the riser to fall into the well head. This was the main cause for oil leakage and oil leaked for months, the well leaked 1,500 barrels of oil each day. Attempts were made to seal the well but it seemed too dangerous because of the Iraqi attacks. Many people lost their lives in the attempt to seal and cap the oil spill, in the following attempt of 11 people died and sacrificed their lives for the cause of humanity and to save the economic crisis. In spite of the fact, a humungous eighty million gallons of oil was lost.

Nowruz Oil Field, Persian Gulf (oil spill)
Workers cleaning the mess (oil spill)

5. Fergana Valley/Mingbulak, Russia, 1992 – 88 million gallons

The Fergana Valley is located between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan which was compactly populated. The land was fertile and it had many oil deposits and with the discovery of such deposits the digging in the area started and on March 2, 1992 an oil well was founded, this was the most active well in the valley. The mishap was nothing more than a careless attitude of the officials working out there. The oil well hit a perfunctory collapse and a blast occurred causing the oil well to start spitting the oil to the surface, nearly 88 million gallons of oil was lost and never redeemed. The oil leaked into the valley and does the same for the next eight months; precautionary measures were taken to hold back the oil but efforts proved a mere failure. From there the oil was sent to the Russian Arctic and it somehow stopped for itself.

Fergana Valley

4. Atlantic Empress/Aegean Captain, Trinidad and Tobago, 1979 – 90 million gallons

On July 19, 1979 the following two ships, number one a super oil tanker “The Atlantic Empress” and “The Aegean” were out in the, as usual on their routing trade voyages. Both of them were faced to suffer worse conditions of weather from the Almighty, they both tried hard to get there selves out of this but all failed. Eventually they both collided and The Empress faced a huge damage for the cause of which a series of explosions took place. The explosions caused the oil to rush out of the tanker and disperse into the sea. The seepage continued for a month and in August 1979 success knocked the door and oil spillage stopped. About 90 million gallons of oil was lost near Tobago. The Ship eventually sank, yet made a mark in the pages of history as the huge disaster.

Atlantic Empress or Aegean Captain (oil tanker)

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