Post Classifieds

Damages Still Unknown: Deepwater Horizon Crisis

By Ashley Workman
On October 24, 2018

Deepwater Horizon Crisis
Photo Courtesy of Slate Magazine

On April 20, 2010, British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, causing the worst oil spill of the century. According to an article titled “BP reached cozy settlement with Mexico on Deepwater spill” on, an organization that publishes news articles on science and technology, the explosion caused over 793 million liters of oil to spew into the depths of the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 employees.

For 87 days, according to the Norwegian Institute for Water Research in their article titled “Environmental effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” oil was ejected into the Gulf of Mexico, negatively impacting or killing sea life including organisms such as fish, birds, and marine animals. In addition, the previously cited article states that ocean habitats, corals, and ecosystems were harmed or destroyed. claims that British Petroleum took swift action to communicate their recovery strategies to the United States government regarding the pollution in the gulf caused by the explosion and paid the country $60 billion to aid in damage recovery.

Although the explosion occurred off the coast of Louisiana, it was very close to reaching Mexican territory, roughly 200 miles away. 

To date, the full extent of damages caused to Mexican waters remains publicly unknown, according to Nathaniel Janowitz of Buzzfeed News.

In an article titled “Mexico made pact with BP for reduced fine after 2010 oil spill,” Mexico News Daily states a corporate transparency group titled PODER claims that British Petroleum secretly negotiated to pay Mexico $25.5 million, on the basis if the Mexican government dropped the charges filed against British Petroleum. Mexico quietly accepted this offer on Sept. 28, 2018.

“The Mexican government always preferred to reach an out-of-court settlement with the company, ignoring the interests of the fishing communities that were affected,’ said PODER, which conducted a two-year investigation of the secret negotiations together with news website BuzzFeed,” stated Mexico News Daily.

Mexico should not have settled their lawsuit with British Petroleum. 

At a fraction of the payments made to the United States government and eight years after the crisis, the settlement was unfair to Mexican citizens, as there has not been a single Mexican who has been compensated for damages caused by the oil spill.

When a crisis occurs, it effects a magnitude of people. In this case, the Mexican government failed to realize this, thus seeming insensitive to Mexican citizens and others affected by the oil spill.


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