The Largest Oil Spills in History

The Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska was the worst oil spill in American history. It recently made news again as Exxon refused to pay the fine after 19 years.

But did you know that even though 11 million gallons of crude leaked when the Exxon Valdez ran aground, it was actually only the 34th largest oil spill in history?

EnviroWonk has the list of the top 10 oil spills, all much, much larger than the Exxon Valdez. For example:

1 Kuwait - 1991 - 520 million gallons
Iraqi forces opened the valves of several oil tankers in order to slow the invasion of American troops. The oil slick was four inches thick and covered 4000 square miles of ocean.
2 Mexico - 1980 - 100 million gallons
An accident in an oil well caused an explosion which then caused the well to collapse. The well remained open, spilling 30,000 gallons a
day into the ocean for a full year.

Newest 2
Newest 2 Comments

this story is close to heart for me. i grew up in a fishing town in AK. The fishing industry hasnt been the same since the Exxon spill.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I went to the French Britanny shore (the pink coast) 10 years after the 78 Amoco Cadiz spill (#7) : you could still see the difference in the rock colors : granitic pink above the spill, greyish pink below.

Funny, I just shut off my central heating system a couple of hours ago... Less oil, less oil...
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Commenting is closed.

Email This Post to a Friend
"The Largest Oil Spills in History"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More