When oil or petroleum from different sources mixes with water sources, it is known as oil pollution.
This oil directly mixes with water sources from industrial sources and oily materials. Oil pollution mainly occurs in seas.
Mixing of oil in water sources happens at the time of accident of oil transporting ships, discharging waste oil from ships and while filling or emptying oil from oil transporting ships. Apart from this, leakage from oil wells on the coast of seas also mixes oil with water. Oil pollution causes harm to human beings, creatures, fish, sea birds and vegetation.
According to one estimate, about 50 lakh to one crore oily substances from different sources mix in sea water every year. Oil also mixes in rivers and other water sources, e.g., the water of river Yamuna is being polluted by Mathura oil refinery. Oil exploration on coastal areas of seas also pollute sea water.
In 1969, water pollution of a grave nature was caused by oil exploration on Santa Barbara coast in South California of United States of America, whose evil effects continued for years. Similarly, oil pollution is caused when of oil carrying ships meet with accidents. In 1976, a Greek oil carrying ship was lost near Waireyal in the sea. Its effect was seen in Indian coast for many days in the form of floating layer of oil.
In 1976, due to accident of an oil carrying ship named Tory Kenyan, a vast sheet of oil was deposited over sea water. It had to be removed by spraying chemicals and such other detergents. About 10,000 tons of detergents were sprayed in it which created a layer of foam over the water and caused danger to life of conch-shell, oyster and snails.
Oil pollution is also caused in the world at the time of war. In 1991, oil was discharged in a large quantity in the Persian Gulf during the Gulf War, and fire was ignited in some oil wells, which not only destroyed sea creatures but also damaged water treatment plants situated in the gulf. It will take us years for bringing the Persian Gulf in normal position.
Apart from accidents of oil carrying ships, oil pollution is also caused by leakage from oil transporting ships. Every year in the world, more than about 12 crore tons oil is transported through seas and oil pollution is caused by leakage of oil. Control can be exercised over it to a large extent if precautions are taken to prevent this leakage. America is manufacturing oil transporting ships of such type. To prevent accidents also, planned operation of ships will have to be done.