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Most oil deposits in the earth are associated with vast pockets of "natural gas" which pushes against the oil causing it to gush from the ground when the rock above the oil is broken. Fissures in the earth's surface cause numerous undetected "oil spills" on a regular basis, but something of this magnitude is caused by a mismanagement of the tapping of the oil from the ground. Most likely the pressure under the oil was miscalculated, leading to a catastrophic underwater gusher.

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