BP Oil Spill


DEFINITION of 'BP Oil Spill'

A 2010 oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. The rig was owned by an offshore drilling contractor, Transocean, and was leased to BP for exploration of the Macondo Prospect, an oil field off the coast of Louisiana. Due to extensive damage to the wellhead and the depth at which the damage occurred, BP was unable to stop the flow of oil for several months. Estimates place the total volume of oil released at over 200 million gallons. The United States placed liability with BP, and required the company to pay cleanup and economic impact costs.


Reaction to the oil spill was a public relations nightmare for BP. The United States government temporarily halted all offshore oil drilling activities, which resulted in several legal battles between states and the federal government. While the ultimate blame for the disaster was laid on BP, BP brought suit against the oil rig operators, designers and manufacturers. The volume of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico threatened the commercial interests, including fishing and tourism, of several states. As of 2010, it was the largest oil spill in United States history.

  1. Crude Oil

    Crude oil is a naturally occurring, unrefined petroleum product ...
  2. Water Quality Improvement Act Of ...

    Legislation that expanded the federal government's authority ...
  3. Oil Pollution Act Of 1990

    A law that caps civil liability for oil spills caused by tankers ...
  4. Wellbore

    A wellbore is a hole that is drilled to aid in the exploration ...
  5. Commercial Well

    Any oil or gas drilling site that produces enough oil or gas ...
  6. Oil Field

    A tract of land used for extracting petroleum, or crude oil, ...
Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    Is BP's High-Yield Dividend Safe?

    Learn how receiving a greater than 7% yield from an oil major is a rare opportunity and one that comes with a fair share of potential dangers.
  2. Fundamental Analysis

    The Green Marketing Machine

    Don't let corporations greenwash their dirty laundry. Learn how to spot a phony.
  3. Economics

    Peak Oil: What To Do When The Wells Run Dry

    Find out how to invest and protect your investments in this slippery sector.
  4. Investing Basics

    Oil: A Big Investment With Big Tax Breaks

    Oil and gas investments can provide unmatched deduction potential for accredited investors.
  5. Active Trading

    Oil And Gas Industry Primer

    Before jumping into this hot sector, learn how these companies make their money.
  6. Active Trading

    Uncovering Oil And Gas Futures

    Find out how to stay on top of data reports that could cause volatility in oil and gas markets.
  7. Options & Futures

    Fueling Futures In The Energy Market

    The energy market influences every aspect of our lives, and these four options are its driving force.
  8. Forex Education

    A Primer On Offshore Drilling

    Learn the important ratios and terms that you'll need to know to get involved in this trading sector.
  9. Options & Futures

    Peak Oil: Problems And Possibilities

    Learn a little more about the "non" part of this nonrenewable resource.
  10. Budgeting

    Understanding Oil Industry Terminology

    The drillers are just one aspect of the oil & gas industry, and by knowing some details of their role, you'll be better suited to make investment decisions.
  1. Is Norway a developed country?

    Norway is a highly developed country, and typically has a world GDP ranking in the top 30, with a 2014 GDP at $500 million ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Is Qatar a developed country?

    Qatar is a developing country, according to the United Nations. However, as the country with the highest gross domestic product ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Why do some oil refineries get tax exemptions?

    Oil refineries normally receive tax exemptions due to tax loopholes. The extracted fuel exemption, for example, one of the ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How much oil must be produced to maintain inventory levels in the United States?

    Domestic energy investors should track the reserve inventory of crude oil for the United States, which is released in a weekly ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. To what extent is the oil and gas sector dominated by a few major companies?

    Oil and gas are two expansive and highly diverse product lines, with active competition domestically and internationally. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What factors are the primary drivers of share prices in the oil and gas sector?

    The primary drivers of share prices in the oil and gas sector are energy prices and economic growth. Stock prices in the ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Bar Chart

    A style of chart used by some technical analysts, on which, as illustrated below, the top of the vertical line indicates ...
  2. Bullish Engulfing Pattern

    A chart pattern that forms when a small black candlestick is followed by a large white candlestick that completely eclipses ...
  3. Cyber Monday

    An expression used in online retailing to describe the Monday following U.S. Thanksgiving weekend. Cyber Monday is generally ...
  4. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
Trading Center