BP Oil Spill World’s Worst Accidental Spill
Although observers of the BP oil spill might think the conclusion obvious, it is now official that the BP oil spill is the world’s worst accidental oil spill. Along with somewhat macabre bragging rights, the decision is going give BP an even bigger financial debt to pay than before.
On Monday, U.S. government scientists released new data that indicate almost 5 million barrels (205.8 million gallons) of oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico before a temporary containment cap finally stopped the leak from the ruptured BP well. The previous record-holder for worst accidental oil spill was the Ixtoc 1 off the coast of Mexico in 1979 with "only" 140 million gallons of oil spewed into the Bay of Campeche.
The revised data means that BP is now on the hook for at least $1 billion more in oil spill fines and costs. Additionally, if BP is found negligent regarding the oil spill they will be responsible for $4300 per barrel in fines rather than the $1100 per barrel anticipated under the guidelines of the Clean Water Act.
BP has said it will sell $25 billion to $35 billion of company assets to pay for oil spill fines and costs.