Oil Spill Index

Oil Spill Index

The Pew Environment Group's Offshore Energy Reform campaign created the following Oil Spill Index to illustrate the continued impact of the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico and to draw attention to problems related to contemporary offshore drilling.


Total barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico by the Deepwater Horizon blowout: 4,900,000

Equivalent of that in Exxon Valdez oil spills: 19

Barrels of oil per day BP claimed in its 2009 emergency response plan it could skim and store in response to a spill in the Gulf: 491,721

Average barrels per day BP actually captured, burned and chemically "dispersed": 19,251

Gallons of chemical dispersant dumped into the Gulf to try to break down the oil: 1,843,786

Projected three-year loss of tourism revenue for Gulf Coast communities as a result of the spill: $22,700,000,000

Number of active offshore oil platforms in the Gulf: 3,395

Number of them in deepwater (more than 1,000 feet): 64

Number of Gulf oil platforms in water deeper than that: 11

Underwater depth of the deepest of those, in feet: 8,062

Number of U.S. offshore oil well "incidents" (including fatalities, injuries, fires, and spills) reported by federal regulators from 2006 through 2009: 3,282

Number of those that included a "loss of well control": 23

Ratio of government inspectors to oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico: 1 to 54

Percentage of those inspectors who believe they did not receive adequate training: 50

Percent of increase in U.S. offshore oil and gas leasing since 1982: 200

Percent of decrease in staffing resources for federal offshore regulation since 1983: 36

Number of bills introduced in Congress since the Deepwater Horizon blowout that would reform offshore drilling and/or improve spill response: 84

Number of those bills that have passed the House: 2

Number that have passed the Senate: 0

Figures are the most recently available as of October 26, 2010.

Download the full Index and its sources here.

Downloads Oil Spill Index
Downloads Oil Spill Index