Houston Matters

Deepwater Horizon: Lessons Learned Five Years Later

Five years ago Monday, an oil well exploded deep in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven crewmen were killed on the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig, about 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana. That deadly incident was just the start of what became an all-out environmental catastrophe, as millions of barrels of crude oil spilled […]

Five years ago Monday, an oil well exploded deep in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven crewmen were killed on the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig, about 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana. That deadly incident was just the start of what became an all-out environmental catastrophe, as millions of barrels of crude oil spilled onto beaches and wetlands from here in Texas all along the Gulf Coast to Florida during a months-long effort to seal the well. BP, which owned the Transocean-operated Macondo Prospect where the explosion and spill occurred, was ultimately held primarily responsible for gross negligence and reckless conduct and has paid out billions in cleanup and court settlements.

As Texas and other Gulf Coast states have endured those massive cleanup efforts, the loss of wildlife habitat, and extensive damage to the fishing and tourism industries, the effects of the explosion and spill are still being felt.

We find out what the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative has learned about the environmental effects of the spill on the Gulf itself. And News 88.7’s Dave Fehling will examine if offshore rigs are safer now than five years ago.

MORE: A conversation with Margaret Brown, the director of a new documentary called The Great Invisible, which you can see on Houston Public Media TV 8 Tuesday night at 10. The documentary explores the human impact of the BP oil disaster.

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