Ixtoc I was an exploratory oil well being drilled by the semi-submersible drilling rig Sedco 135 in the Bay of Campeche of the Gulf of Mexico, about 100 km (62 mi) northwest of Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche in waters 50 m (160 ft) deep. On 3 June 1979, the well suffered a blowout resulting in one of the largest oil spills in history. Beneath the Horizon examines the consequences of two major oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico: The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the northern Gulf and the lesser known 1979 Ixtoc oil spill in the southern Gulf. By featuring scientists who have devoted their lives to studying the spills and residents who lived through them, we explore how the environment and people cope with disaster and Ixtoc I was an exploratory oil well being drilled by the semi-submersible drilling rig Sedco 135-F in the Bay of Campeche of the Gulf of Mexico, about 100 km (62 mi) northwest of Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche in waters 50 m (160 ft) deep. The boat could only spill as much oil as it could hold. And the Exxon Valdez spill occurred at the surface – oil was not rising from the bottom of the ocean, becoming emulsified and harder to clean up. A better comparison for the current Gulf spill might be the Ixtoc I spill of 1979, the worst offshore spill in North American history.
BAHAMAS. CUBA. Ixtoc I. Macondo well. Site of Deepwater Horizon blowout dental marine oil spill in history. National William E. McNulty, Director of Maps,.
Norwegian experts were contracted to bring in skimming equipment and containment booms, and to begin cleanup of the spilled oil. The IXTOC I well continued to spill oil at a rate of 10,000 - 30,000 barrels per day until it was finally capped on March 23, 1980. The BP oil spill is the largest accidental release of oil into marine waters, according to flow estimates announced on Aug. 2 by a federal panel of scientists, called the Flow Rate Technical Group. The panel said that about 4.9 million barrels of oil have come out of the well, with about 800,000 barrels, or 17 percent, captured by BP’s containment efforts. NOAA and many partner organizationshave conducted research to determine the full extent of the damage from the spilled oil on the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem and economy. This spill impacted wildlife, habitats, fishing communities, and commerce along the large coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, and Florida. Habitat impacts Ixtoc Oil Spill: A Brief History Published: April 10, 2011. Tweet. On June 3, 1979, an exploratory well blew out and caught fire, pouring crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico at a rate of 30,000 to 45,000 barrels a day. Some report that the Ixtoc One was gushing oil 20 feet into the air. No injuries or deaths were initially reported.
The Ixtoc I oil spill was the largest oil spill to date. However, lack of information about the oil spill made it difficult to assess the damage done.  The spill stimulated many scientists to begin studying the surrounding area of oil wells in order to be able to quantify damage if a disaster were to occur. 
Environmental sensitivity index (ESI) mapping of oil spill in the Amazon coastal coastal landing of the oil slick resulting from the blowout of the IXTOC 1 well in Note: Due to the lack of core papers on this subject, there is not a Research Front Map to accompany the Special Topic of Oil Spills.