A Month in the Life of Big Oil: 13 Oil Spills in 30 Days
By Heather Libby / tcktcktck.org
Apr 12, 2013

Moving oil is a dirty business, and never has that been more clear than this past month. Since March 11, the global oil industry has had 13 spills on three continents. In North and South America alone, they’ve spilled more than a million gallons of oil and toxic chemicals – enough to fill two olympic-sized swimming pools.

How bad was it? Here’s an infographic of all the oil spills, leaks and derailments in the past 30 days. 

An Oily Dirty Month - Full Size


All spills in order of occurrence:

March 11 – 21: Gwagwalada Town, Nigera

  • A week-long leak of Kilometer 407.5 NNPC (Nigeria National Petroleum Corp) pipeline. No official # of barrels spilled released, however the spill saturated a hectare (10,000 sq metres) of marshy ground near a major water source.

Tuesday, March 19: Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories Canada

  • Enbridge Norman Wells Pipeline leaks 6,290 barrels of crude oil

Monday, March 25: Fort MacKay, Alberta Canada

  • Suncor Tar Sands tailings pond leaks 2,200 barrels of toxic waste fluid into the Athabasca River

Wednesday, March 27: Parker Prairie, Minnesota USA

  • CP Rail train derails and spills 952 barrels of Tar Sands crude oil

Friday, March 29: Mayflower, Arkansas

  • Exxon Mobil’s Pegasus Pipeline suffers a 22 foot-long rupture, spilling at least 12,000 barrels of diluted Tar Sands bitumen

Sunday, March 31: A power plant in Lansing, Michigan USA

  • 16 barrels of an oil-based hydraulic fluid spills into the Grand River

Tuesday, April 2: Nembe, Nigeria

  • After suffering a reported theft of 60,000 barrels of oil per day from its Nembe Creek Trunkline pipeline, Shell Nigeria shuts off the pipe for 9 days to repair damage.

Wednesday, April 3: 350KM southeast of Newfoundland, Canada

  • A drilling platform leaks 0.25 barrels of crude oil

Wednesday, April 4: Chalmette, Louisiana USA

  • 0.24 barrels (100 lbs) of hydrogen sulfide and 0.04 barrels (10lbs of benzene) leak at an Exxon Refinery

Monday, April 8: Esmeraldas, Ecuador

  • The OPEC-managed OCP pipeline leaks 5,500 barrels of heavy crude oil, contaminating the Winchele estuary

Tuesday, April 9: 29KM NE of Nuiqsut, Alaska USA

  • Human error during maintenance spills 157 barrels of crude oil at a Repsol E&P USA Inc pipeline pump station
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A Month in the Life of Big Oil: 13 Oil Spills in 30 Days