How much worse is the gulf oil spill than the worst in history before it?



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    The worst oil spill of all time was in Kuwait during the Gulf War in 1991. Iraqi forces destroyed oil tankers and set fires to other oil-producing structures, spilling at least 8 million barrels on land and into the Persian Gulf. Using the government estimate of 60,000 barrels spilled per day until the stopping of the Deepwater well, about 5.2 million barrels have been spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. So, if we can rely on these estimates, the Deepwater gusher is not quite as bad as the Kuwait spill (about 3 million barrels less), but still definitely among the worst. This map shows the world’s top ten worst oil spills, in case you are curious.

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