Disaster in the Gulf
by Irvin Anthony Gomez, age 11
Do you know how the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico started?
Under the Gulf, several oil wells have been drilled into the ocean floor. A pipe carries oil from every well below the Gulf of Mexico to a floating platform. The oil is then shipped from the platform to many places for refining.
On April 20th, a new well that was being drilled under the Gulf of Mexico exploded. Some natural gas and oil accidentally escaped from the well, igniting underneath the drilling platform. The platform sunk, pulling the connecting pipe down with it. That pipe is still leaking in many places below the ocean’s surface, though the oil company B.P., is working to permanently stop that leak.
The oil from the ocean floor continues to float up to the surface and creating an oil “slick.” This slick covers hundreds of square miles of ocean like a blanket. The unrefined oil has a strong odor and a dark thick appearance. The oil fumes also polluted the air above, threatening many animals and plants.
A lot of cleaning crews are trying to clean up the area affected by the spill. There is still a lot of oil contaminating the Gulf, but many people are still trying to make a difference.