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(US HISTORY) sector of the Gulf of Mexico seabed in which the Deepwwater Horizon was drilling. The name, assigned long before the platform was erected, is an example of dramatic irony. On 20 April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon blew out*, killing eleven crew members; over the next 12 weeks the wreckage spewed some 4 million bbls of crude oil into the ecologically sensitive region off the coast of Louisiana and Mississippi.

Properly known as the Macondo Prospect, or MC 252 (for "Mississippi Canyon"). Name comes from the fact that major rivers have large, deep underwater canyons on the ocean floor beyond their deltas. Macondo Prospect is formally owned by the Federal Bureau of Land Management (US BLM), and leased to British Petroleum by the {former} Minerals Management Service.

* "blew out" = past tense of "blow out"; rupture of an oil well, particularly at the well head.
The name Macondo is the same name as the fictitious cursed town in the novel *One Hundred Years of Solitude* by Colombian ... writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Oil companies routinely assign code names to offshore prospects early in the exploration effort. This practice helps ensure secrecy during the confidential pre-sale phase, and later provides convenient names for casual reference

Wikipedia entry, "Macondo Prospect"
by Primus Intra Pares July 24, 2010
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