(OIL INDUSTRY) a disaster consisting of a rupture of the pipe carrying oil away from a wellhead. Basically, when oil coming out of the ground through an oil well is released into the open air, or pours into the ocean.
In 1991, after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait was repulsed by the US-led coalition, the retreating Iraqi forces used incendiary explosives to blast open and ignite the streams of crude oil coming from Kuwaiti wells. This was the largest mass blowout in industry history.
The Deepwater Horizon blowout is incorrectly called a "spill" by many news outlets. It is not a spill, it is a blowout.
Oil wells, particularly those drilled underwater, are required to have a functioning blowout preventer. The one of the Deepwater Horizon was made by Halliburton and was defective.
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