The Deepwater Horizon oil spill happened in 2010, but it took a six-year study to finally and accurately calculate the cost of the damage to the natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico.
The 507 million litre spill caused $17.2 billion in damage, which works out to R222.5 billion.
To estimate the value of the natural resources, scientists used a survey that determined the willingness of households to pay for measures that would prevent something like this from happening again. The survey included facts on the oil spill and the damage it did to beaches, animal fish and coral.
The public were then informed of a hypothetical preventative measure, which would guarantee that the Gulf remained spill free for the next 15 years.
The analysis showed that the average household was willing to fork over $153 (just under R2000) to prevent it from happening again, which was then multiplied by the number of households effected by the spill.