• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Oil Spills

Oil spills represent what the sociologist Kai Erikson calls “a new species of trouble”—disasters situated in hazards and risks from technological rather than natural processes. Oil spills are as old as the first commercial development of oil fields but became problematic with the advent of supertanker technology, which contributed to large marine oil spills such as the Torrey Canyon (1968) and Amoco Cadiz (1978) tanker accidents off the coasts of the United Kingdom and France. Development of offshore drilling technology not only dramatically increased production but also led to marine oil gushers such as the 1979 Ixtoc I well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. The largest oil spill occurred in the 1991 Gulf War when Iraqi troops deliberately released crude oil into the ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles