Small Business Impacts Associated with the 2010 Oil Spill (Deepwater Horizon) and Drilling Moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico

On April 20, 2010, an explosion occurred on the Deepwater Horizon, a semi-submersible offshore drilling rig which was operating above Mississippi Canyon Block 252 (MCB 252), some 45 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana. For nearly three months following the incident, an estimated 4.9 million barrels or 205 million gallons of crude oil continued to spill from the platform's damaged wellhead into the surrounding waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The purpose of this research was to examine the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill and subsequent six-month drilling moratorium on small businesses in the Gulf of Mexico. Research funding was provided by the Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy. The scope of the research included 17 communities in three counties and five parishes in Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. A combination of social science research methods was utilized: (a) compilation and review of pertinent background literature, (b) compilation and analysis of archived time-series data, and (c) in-depth ethnographic fieldwork and interviews. The research project resulted in one final report.