In April 2010, a gigantic explosion on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico caused a natural disaster. What do you already know about the catastrophe? Try to answer the following questions before you watch the video.
Watch this video to find out about the latest attempt to stop the oil from flowing out of the well. After you watched the video, try to answer the questions below.
Read this text to get background information on the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also referred to as the BP oil spill, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the BP oil disaster or the Macondo blowout) is a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that is the largest offshore spill in U.S. history. By late May or early June 2010, some estimates placed it among the largest oil spills in history with hundreds of millions of gallons spilled to date. The spill stemmed from a sea-floor oil gusher that resulted from the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion. The explosion killed 11 platform workers and injured 17 others. On July 15, 2010, BP said the leak had been stopped by capping the gushing oil wellhead, though there is a risk that a significant pressure shift could create a new leak on the sea floor. The drilling of relief wells to permanently close the well is ongoing.
The spill continues to cause extensive damage to marine and wildlife habitats as well as the Gulf's fishing and tourism industries. There have been a variety of efforts to stem the flow at the wellhead. Crews have been working to protect hundreds of miles of beaches, wetlands and estuaries along the northern Gulf coast, using skimmer ships, floating containment booms, anchored barriers, and sand-filled barricades along shorelines. The U.S. Government has named BP as the responsible party, and officials have committed to holding the company accountable for all cleanup costs and other damage.
What is your opinion on the catastrophe? Do you think BP should be punished and oil drilling should be completely forbidden? Or do you think it is not that bad at all? Write a short text and tell us about your views on the oil spill. Afterwards you can compare your text to a sample solution.
In my opinion deepsea drilling should be forbidden. We should only drill in depths where we can still control the effects of our doing. The oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico clearly shows that we are not able to control the results if something goes wrong in 10.000 metres under the sea. As long as there is no save way to get oil from the sea, we should not take the risk. It is too dangerous and destroys our nature. We should rather use reneweable energies instead of exploiting and damaging nature.
The oil spill endangers many animals that live in the sea or along the coastline. Below you can learn the English words for some sea creatures.
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