How oil spills occur

The world we live in needs oil. Despite the loud proclamations that we are moving to zero emissions and striving to be carbon neutral, the UK is dependent on oil. It fuels our cars and powers our turbines for electricity; our economy is moved by it. So, as we try to wean ourselves off oil this still shows no real sign of abating. Given the estimated amount of fuel we have left, in terms of barrels, there is enough, given the current use levels, to last another fifty years.

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When incidents like the Torrey Canyon or Exxon Valdez oil spills occur, or the oil fields are set on fire by a dictator like Saddam Hussein, that number of barrels radically reduces. Oil spills are the worst occurrence as they also create an environmental disaster. Ecosystems, biodiversity and places of nature have been irrevocably damaged following these terrible events. Luckily, we now have Spill Kits, like those from, and they can help to mitigate the damage.

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Most spills have come from tankers. Crude oil can only be transported in bulk over the sea. There is a raft of maritime controls, plus the tankers are designed with unique hulls that attempt to limit the amount of oil that escapes, to stop this from happening. Sadly, it still does. Most have been through a human error on the ship, meaning the companies that own the ships usually escape prosecution.

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