The mud rarely sticks.
Response teams often make assumptions about the way oil behaves in the ocean, but this means oil plumes can go undetected and get missed in the clean-up.
Clean-up operations after a spill can miss large quantities of the oil, with severe risks for marine habitats, fish and birds.
Pools of floating crude oil at the site of the sunken Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, April 27, 2010.
Benjamin Lowy/Getty Images
The Deepwater Horizon disaster set new records for holding polluters to account. But it had much less impact on laws regulating offshore drilling or US oil dependence.
Oil sheen in a Louisiana marsh that was heavily affected by the 2010 BP spill, Sept. 27, 2013.
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill caused widespread damage in the Gulf of Mexico, but some parts of this complex ecosystem fared better than others.
Researchers use Atlantic mackerel for bait on long-lining fishing sampling expeditions in the Gulf of Mexico..
The Deepwater Horizon oil disaster catalyzed a decade of research on oil contamination in the Gulf of Mexico, from surface waters to the seabed, with surprising findings.
A satellite image of the oil slick as it looked in late May 2010, a month after the Deepwater Horizon well exploded. The oil plume looks grayish white.
NASA/Goddard/Jen Shoemaker and Stu Snodgrass
The BP Deepwater Horizon blowout on April 20, 2010 triggered the largest offshore oil spill in history. Ten years later, post-spill reforms are being undone and the Gulf of Mexico remains vulnerable.
Oil sheen drifting from the site of the former Taylor Energy oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File
In 2004 an underwater avalanche destroyed an oil platform off Louisiana, causing a 14-year spill. An expert on oil and gas seeps in the Gulf of Mexico warns that this could happen in other places.
Gulf Coast oysters on the half shell at Wintzell’s, Mobile, Ala.
Oysters are big business along the Gulf Coast, but raising them off-bottom – which yields a premium product – is just starting there. Hurricane Michael showed it won’t be easy.
Many products are made in factories where the conditions are far from humane or ethical.
How much would you pay to make this disappear?
Emilian Robert Vicol
What would you pay to keep trash off your favorite beach, or pollution away from a national park? Economists can tease these values out of our travel choices and use the numbers to help make policy.
The oil rig explosion in Deepwater Horizon (2016), a film about the worst oil spill in US history.
The search for oil was once depicted in movies and books as a boys’ own adventure. But as films such as Deepwater Horizon show, in an age of anxieties over fossil fuels, oil’s story is now a darker one.
Dan Anderson / EPA
What happened to the massive underwater ‘oil plume’?
U.S. Coast Guard vessels battle the fire on the Deepwater Horizon while searching for survivors from the rig’s 126-person crew.
U.S. Coast Guard/Wikipedia
The new movie ‘Deepwater Horizon’ depicts the blowout that triggered the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A professor of petroleum engineering assesses what the film gets right and wrong.
Hollywood turns its hand to the worst environmental disaster in US history – from which the environment is strangely missing.
Approach with caution.
When employees of dodgy companies or slipshod institutions put it all on the line to do the right thing, why do we hang them out to dry?
Leiopathes, also known as black corals, are some of the oldest organisms in the sea.
A flock of scientists turned their focus to understand the Deepwater Horizon’s impact, including one team that studied deep-sea corals.
Ready for more?
Department of Energy
Five years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Obama administration is looking to expand offshore drilling. Is it any safer today?
The 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico marked a new management low for BP.
Before the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP had previously gained high praise for its treatment of a similar spill.
Where did the oil go?
Five years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, scientists are researching how much oil dropped to sea floor, hitchhiking via ‘marine snow.’
Deep-water coral Paramuricea sp. from 1000 meter depth at a site in the Atwater Valley region of the Gulf of Mexico.
Ocean Exploration Trust
Five years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, scientists find dispersants meant to clean up oil spill are toxic to deep-sea corals.