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Three New Oil Spills Observed Across the World

Oil spills are a frequent occurrence worldwide, with massive environmental setbacks. This article will explore three recently documented spills from the past month alone.

Jan 7, 2024

Oil spills have disastrous effects on the environment, including on human and animal health. While available data suggests that oil spills have drastically decreased over the decades, it must be noted that such figures only take tanker spills into account; which are the causes of the 3 recent oil spills explored in this article.
Baltic Sea Ferry Fuel Leak
On Oct. 22, a passenger ferry ran aground near the port of Karlshamn in Sweden, releasing fuel into the Baltic sea in the process. The spill stretched out for at least 5 kilometers over sea based on an Oct. 25 report. The ferry was stranded twice more afterwards, leaking more oil each time.
An estimated 50 cubic meters or 50000 liters of oil and oil waste has been cleared by authorities and volunteers as of a 2 Nov. report. More than an estimated 500 birds were also affected by the spill.
Swedish authorities have prosecuted the ferry captain and officer on duty due to their reliance on a faulty GPS at the time of the initial grounding.
Major Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill, Source Unknown
On Nov. 17, the U.S. coast guard reported an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, near a pipeline off of Louisiana’s shores. Initial reports have placed the released oil volume at 1.1 million gallons. The source of the spill still remains a mystery according to a Nov. 28 report.
The Gulf is home to endangered species such as the Rice’s whale and the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle, who would be negatively impacted by the spill.
Oil Spill into India’s Ennore Creek
On Dec. 4, a major oil spill from Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL) swept through Tamil Nadu’s Buckingham Canal and Ennore Creek. The spill has also crossed into the Kosasthalaiyar River and at least 20 square kilometers into the sea.
“No one wants to eat fish from Ennore. There is a smell of oil on all the fish. Even locals do not want to eat it,” a local fisherman told Indian Express, sharing similar sentiments with other Chennai fishermen, who staged a protest demanding government compensation.
An announced government plan includes Rs 12500 for affected families, which has been criticized for not adequately compensating the extent of damage caused to the local ecosystem.
Mehraneh Saffari is Senior News Editor. Email them at
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