In April 20, 2010, the explosion of an Oil rig on the coast of Mexico, now called the Macondo Well Disaster, spilled 210 million gallons of crude oil in the ocean. The impact of this engineering disaster would effect the energy industry, environment, society and the engineering profession for years to come.
The spilling of oil caused and outrage in the media and protestors tried to have petroleum drilling stopped. Accordingly after the incident there was a couple of months of suspension on drilling. The use of fossil fuel had been given a bad reputation and the public turned to more environmentally friendly energy such as solar, hydro , wind, and geothermal power. The Macondo Well Disaster showed how great our consumption of energy was and but also showed how catastrophic and destructive petroleum can be.
The greatest impact of the oil spill had been done to the environment; many species living, and feeding from the ocean were devastated. The habitat and hundreds and thousands of species were killed in the process. Most of the animals were weighed down into the ocean floor so the real impact of the Maconda Well disaster would never be truly known. Further affects on marine life are yet to be seen. However the environment has been said to take many years to recover to how it was before.
To the engineering profession more safety regulations and back up plans were installed to prevent the sheer magnitude of this oil spill to occur again. At the same time the support for finding “greener” energy and the support of the usage of such energy is greater.
Through this horrific experience many people have come to learn the risk and damage of petroleum oil. It should not be taken for granted as the lives of many animals and people are risked to get it everyday.