The explosion on and subsequent sinking of the Deepwater Horizon on April 20, 2010, caused a firestorm of political and public opinion.
The offshore drilling rig was owned by Transocean and leased to British Petroleum in the Gulf of Mexico.
The resulting oil spill invoked an offshore drilling moratorium by President Barak Obama until further investigation could be made into the environmental effects of offshore drilling.
The following video of the oil rig fire in the Gulf of Mexico was provided courtesy of the US Coast Guard.
President Obama's decision polarized an already divided country that was deep in recession. While environmentalists favored the moratorium, working class citizens directly affected by the oil spill did not.
However, working class citizens weren't the only victims of the BP oil spill, as the picture to the right demonstrates.
According to Earth Justice, the British Petroleum oil spill continues to smother coral formation, infect the food chain, layer the ocean floor with tarry deposits, and affect life forms in ways that can only be estimated.
If these claims are true, our oceans could be in danger.
Is there any other oil spill in US history that we can compare this oil spill to and draw logical conclusions from?
There certainly is - the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
Bakken Shale: The Bakken Shale was at one time considered to be a marginal find because the oil was trapped in such low permeable shale.
Deepwater Horizon: Transocean's Deepwater Horizon burned for two days and then sank - an equipment loss of over $200 million.
Directional Drilling: Directional drilling is common practice in shale gas plays such as the Bakken and Barnett Shale, and the selection of drilling tools is critical.
Drilling Mud: Drilling mud can be oil, air, or water based. It cools and cleans the bit, stabilizes the well bore, and creates wallcake.
Exxon Valdez: The effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill are still being felt almost 30 years later.
Natural Gas Drilling: Natural gas drilling looks to continue because the natural gas reserves of the United States are large enough to fuel our needs for many years to come.
Oil Well Drilling: Oil well drilling requires many pre-drilling decisions, such as whether to reverse circulate and which type of drilling mud to use.
Shale Oil: Shell Oil Company's in-situ conversion process requires a "freeze wall" around the outside perimeter of the shale oil extraction zone to prevent groundwater contamination.
Spindletop: The oil revolution began when Spindletop gushed black gold 150 feet in the air for nine days in 1901, and Howard Hughes invented the roller cone bit.
Tar Sands: Tar sands are a black, tar-like combination of clay, sand, water, and bitumen. They are sometimes called "oil sands" to make them seem more appealing.
Return from Deepwater Horizon to Offshore Drilling