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The World's Worst Oil Disasters

In the aftermath of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon platform, which is now estimated to be leaking 5,000 barrels of crude each day, many are fearing the worst in terms of the potential environmental and economic impact. But how does this spill stack up to the biggest oil disasters in history?

To get a sense, CNBC.com reviewed data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and The Mariner Group, an oil spill response firm, to get a sense of which oil disasters have been the worst, by volume of oil spilled.

To get a scope on the economic impact, we calculated the 2010 cost of the oil spilled at the current cost of light, sweet crude at $85 per barrel. However, this does not take into account the cost of cleanup efforts, ecological impact and loss of equipment, which could add millions -- or even billions -- to the cost.

So, what are the worst oil disasters in history? Click ahead to find out!

By Paul Toscano
Posted 29 April 2010