Source: "Coping with an Oiled Sea: An Analysis of Oil Spill Response
Technologies," U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, March 1990, page 4.
Ixtoc I, well blowout
Nowruz Oil Field, well blowout
Castillo de Bellver, broke/fire
Amoco Cadiz, grounding
Aegean Captain, Atlantic Empress
D-103 Libya, well blowout
Atlantic Empress, fire
Torrey Canyon, grounding
Irenes Serenade, fire
Sea Star, collision/fire
Gulf of Oman
The table above shows the largest oil spills on record since 1967. The total volume of oil is given in millions of gallons.
Most of the oil spills occurred in the late 1970s or early 1980s. Fewer are happening now, though major oil spills do certainly still occur.
When the Exxon Valdez oil spill happened, many people were shocked and
horrified. But the ship spilt 10.8 million gallons, almost nothing compared with as many as 428 million gallons for the Ixtoc I in Mexico and other less-known spills.
That shows that not all major oil spills receive great publicity, and media coverage is hardly proportional to the total amount of damage done.