Where do most oil spills happen in the world?
A. Oil spills happen all around the world. Analysts for the Oil Spill Intelligence Report, who track oil spills of at least 10,000 gallons (34 tons), reported that spills in that size range have occurred in the waters of 112 nations since 1960. But they also reported (Etkin 1997) that oil spills happen more frequently in certain parts of the world. They identified the following “hot spots” for oil spills from vessels: • the Gulf of Mexico (267 spills) • the northeastern U.S. (140 spills) • the Mediterranean Sea (127 spills) • the Persian Gulf (108 spills) • the North Sea (75 spills) • Japan (60 spills) • the Baltic Sea (52 spills) • the United Kingdom and English Channel (49 spills) • Malaysia and Singapore (39 spills) • the west coast of France and north and west coasts of Spain (33 spills) • Korea (32 spills) In addition, U.S. Coast Guard analysts have prepared some graphs and charts, Cumulative Data and Graphics for Oil Spills, which show the frequencies of oil spills in different r