Interactive Map: Top Ten Global Oil Spills

Details of the ten worst oil spills in history by volume, date, location, and company damages.

Spills, leaks and floods of toxic oil occur every day throughout the world—from the backwaters of rural Ecuador to the swamplands of Nigeria, all the way to the bitter cold of Russia’s Siberian tundra. Silenced by poverty, pollution and illness, scores of affected voices are left in the wake. Just one drop of oil can make up to 25 liters of water undrinkable.

And as these freshwater sources are further compromised by antiquated infrastructure, civil uprising and extreme weather, oil gushes into the Gulf of Mexico—an estimated 75 to 125 million gallons since April. British Petroleum’s promise to create a $US100 million compensation fund for oil workers left jobless and $US20 billion for damage claims is unprecedented. But the oil giant’s deepwater disaster is not the sole blemish on the international petroleum industry’s record, as can be seen in the interactive map below.

Map © Jordan Bates/Circle of Blue
Click on a number to read specific statistics about each of the Top 10 Global Oil Spills. Click on a blue circle to read specific statistics about each oil spill highlighted in this Circle of Blue special report. To see full list of spills, click here.

Jordan Bates created the data visualization map. Reach him at

Aubrey Ann Parker, Brett Walton, Molly Walton and Keith Schneider contributed reporting.

Choke Point:US--Oil Spoils

Water Energy Facts Map U.S. Oil Spill Top ten global petroleum BP British PEtroleum United States Choke Point

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