The crew of a Basler BT-67 fixed wing aircraft release oil dispersant over an oil spill from the mobile offshore drilling unit, Deepwater Horizon, off the shore of Louisiana, May 5, 2010. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Stephen Lehmann)

Research on Dispersants that Informs Oil Spill Response

The prevention or reduction of coastline oiling was high on responders’ priorities immediately following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Five years later, much discussion continues about balancing benefits and risks regarding dispersants, and there are increased research efforts for alternatives or enhancements to existing dispersant systems.

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The Deepwater Horizon Disaster Five Years Later

Late on the night of April 20, 2010, methane gas blew out from a wellhead a mile below the Gulf of Mexico. At a pressure 150 times greater than air at the Earth’s surface, the gas shot up through a drilling riser to the Deepwater Horizon oil platform and exploded, killing 11 workers.

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