More than 60 days ago the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. Since then, day after day, there has been a massive oil spill that has become one of the biggest ecological catastrophes of the industrial age. According to US government calculations, some 60,000 barrels a day are being dumped. Thus, from the date of the incident (April 20) it can be estimated at around 3.6 million barrels of oil that have ended up in the sea.
It is not for less, the coverage and monitoring of the event is being very intense. In fact, it is possible to see live images of the oil spill in the depths of the Gulf of Mexico:
A catastrophe that, in addition to the tremendous impact it is having on the marine and coastal ecosystems of the area, it’s going to take its toll on Obama and may sink BP, which won’t stop update information about the actions they are taking to stop the oil spill.
On the other side of the Atlantic, in the Niger Delta, oil is also being spilled, but for decades. Aminsty International states in a 2009 report that between 9 and 13 million barrels have been dumped in the area over the past 50 years. Shell, the main oil company in the Niger Delta, even admits in the same report that between 1989 and 1994, 7,350 barrels of oil were spilled each year.
To put it in perspective, a simple graph of the spill estimates from the Prestige (about 395,000 barrels, perhaps the most reliable data), from the Gulf of Mexico (to date close to 4 million barrels) and from the Niger Delta (about 11 million barrels accumulated over the past 50 years).
Finally, some lists of the most serious oil spills in history:
The Niger Delta catastrophe does not appear in any of the lists: its chronicity, like many other problems that devastate Africa, ends up hiding its seriousness.