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On April 20, 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico led to the worst oil spill in United States history. An.

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Presentation on theme: "On April 20, 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico led to the worst oil spill in United States history. An."— Presentation transcript:

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3 On April 20, 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico led to the worst oil spill in United States history. An estimated 35,000 to 60,000 barrels of oil a day spewed from the broken well until it was capped in late July.

4 Capping Deepwater Horizon’s well was especially difficult because it was located nearly a mile underwater. Damaged Well: This image, taken by an underwater camera, shows oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon’s broken pipe. Capping Deepwater Horizon’s well was especially difficult because it was located nearly a mile underwater. Robotic submarines were required to cut through the broken pipe and place a temporary seal on the hole.11 Robotic submarines were required to cut through the broken pipe and place a temporary seal on the hole.

5 Oil is a fossil fuel, or an energy source created from the decayed bodies of once-living animals and plants and trapped in rocks underground. Reaching fossil fuels requires drilling deep holes in the earth.

6 The U.S. has been drilling in the Gulf of Mexico for more than 40 years. Shallower wells there are running dry. Offshore Drilling Platform The U.S. has been drilling in the Gulf of Mexico for more than 40 years. Shallower wells there are running dry. Energy companies have to look in even deeper U.S. waters for new offshore wells. Just three weeks before the Deepwater Horizon accident, President Obama announced plans to open new areas to offshore oil and natural-gas drilling to help expand the country’s energy production. Energy companies have to look in even deeper U.S. waters for new offshore wells. Just three weeks before the Deepwater Horizon accident, President Obama announced plans to open new areas to offshore oil and natural-gas drilling to help expand the country’s energy production.

7 The biggest risk of oil drilling is a spill. Spills are extremely difficult to contain and clean up. Spilled oil can harm plants, wildlife, and entire ecosystems like the marshes along the Gulf Coast.

8 Dispersants: Chemicals that separate oil into droplets to help it break down faster Skimmers: Machines that suck up oil on the surface of the water Booms: Tube-shape buoys that corral oil Controlled Burns: Setting fire to contained patches of oil to remove it from the water’s surface Skimmers: Machines that suck up oil on the surface of the water Booms: Tube-shape buoys that corral oil Controlled Burns: Setting fire to contained patches of oil to remove it from the water’s surface

9 Why is oil an important natural resource? Then, read “Drilling for Oil” in the September 27, 2010, issue of Science World. Turn to page 8. Why is oil an important natural resource? How does an oil spill affect wildlife? What can be done to clean up an oil spill? Learn more about the Gulf oil spill with this video.video How does an oil spill affect wildlife? What can be done to clean up an oil spill? Learn more about the Gulf oil spill with this video.video

10 Simulate your own oil spill. Fill an aluminum pan halfway with water. Add enough vegetable oil to create a slick covering the surface of your “ocean.” Does the oil sink, float, or mix with the water? What happens if you dip a feather into the oil? How might an oil spill affect birds? Take It Further: Simulate a dispersant by adding a few drops of dish soap to the oil spill. What happens to the oil? Scholastic Classroom Magazines. All Pages: Oil Slick: iStockphoto.com; Page 1: ©Marsh: James P. Blair/National Geographic via Getty Images; Egret: iStockphoto.com; Page 2: ©Zuma Press via Newscom; Page 3: ©AFP/Getty Images; Page 4: ©Erich Schlegel/Corbis; Page 5: Steve Stankiewctz; Page 6: Turtle: ©Alan Spearman/Landov; Greenpeace campaigner : ©Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/Polaris; Page 7: Top: ©Derick E. Hingle/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Bottom: ©Julie Dermansky/Corbis; Page 8: ©AP Photo Images/Alex Brandon; Page 9: ©Carlos Barria/Corbis


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