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Oil slick” redirects here. For the fictional character, see Oil Slick (Transformers).
For the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, see Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Deepwater Horizon oil spill on June 25, 2010.
A squid after an oil spill
Oil Sick from the Montara oil spill in the Timor Sea, September, 2009.

An oil spill is a release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment due to human activity, and is a form of pollution. The term often refers to marine oil spills, where oil is released into the ocean or coastal waters. Oil spills include releases of crude oil from tankers, offshore platforms, drilling rigs and wells, as well as spills of refined petroleum products (such as gasoline, diesel) and their by-products, and heavier fuels used by large ships such as bunker fuel, or the spill of any oily white substance refuse or waste oil. Spills may take months or even years to clean up.

Oil also enters the marine environment from natural oil seeps. Public attention and regulation has tended to focus most sharply on seagoing oil tankers.

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