Deepwater Horizon Macondo oil well drilling

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Since an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon Macondo oil well drilling platform killed 11 workers on April 20, 2010, it would be regarded as a fateful day. Because it spewed millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the catastrophe is regarded as the largest maritime oil spill in American history. The catastrophe was caused by a "well integrity breakdown," according to a 2010 BP investigation. The well fluid's regulator pressure started to drop at the same time. When such an incidence occurs, the "blowout preventer" that is intended to engage does not engage (ABBRIAN, et al. 294). Hence, hydrocarbons ended up shooting into the air in an uncontrollable way leading to an ignition which ended up causing some series of explosions on the rig.

Underwater cameras exposed that the BP pipes were dripping oil and gas on the ocean floor to around 42 miles of the shore of Louisiana. The well was covered on July 15, 2010, 87 days after the incident happened, however, a projected 3.19 million barrels of oil had already dripped into the Gulf (ABBRIAN, et al. 294). Directly after the blast occurred, labourers from BP and Transocean and various government assistance took the initiative of trying to control the spread of the oil to coasts and other coastal ecologies. They used floating booms to cover superficial oil and chemical oil dispersants. Additionally, various scientists and researchers went to the Gulf area to search for figures, whereby investigators were trying to understand the spill and its effect on the environment, marine life and the Gulf shore.

The Affected Areas

This question merely depends on who one asks. BP contracted that Polaris take the initiative to assess the area that was affected thus providing a recommendable solution for the clean-up process. The technical survey adviser Ed Owens believed that all the oil from the spill was on the surface and only about 10% reached the shoreline. Of the surveyed area, about 200 miles was in mostly heavily oiled. While tens of miles have been moderately oiled. However, various critics believe that there is still more oil that lurks in the oceanic floors.

The Responsible Party. BP’s report seems to place Haliburton and Transocean as the primary cause, however, the findings have come under heavy criticism indicating that BP wants to put the blame on one part while they also had a role to play in the tragic incident. In fact, the initial well integrity let-down was due to a bad cement work by the oil and gas equipment company Haliburton. However, the company replied to the report by BP claiming that it had seen the omissions but had followed the BP specifications to the latter (White, et al. 20303). BP accused the rig owners, Transocean for having failed to sustain the blowout from blowing up. The blowout preventer maintenance record was not sufficiently kept and not submitted to the maintenance department.

The records have been set straight since BP should bear the majority of the responsibility among the companies that were involved in the incident. BP received billions of dollars in penalties due to its negligence (Walker 50). BP agreed to pay the billions of dollars requested as compensation for the people and businesses affected by the disaster. According to a judge ruling the share of the blame was; BP accepts 67% of the blame, Transocean Ltd 30% and Halliburton a cement company the remaining 3%. The reasons of the fines could not be compared to the disaster that the millions of gallons caused (Walker 49). Some of the effects were; wildlife deaths, stained beaches, and pollution marshes. Nonetheless, the damage was done, and the respective parties had to agree to the penalties they received since they showed negligence on their part. Anadarko, the financier, was not off the hook since it had 25% shares of the Macondo Prospect it was projected that they also are involved in paying for the damages caused.

What would have been done to prevent the Disaster

According to a final report by Deepwater Horizon, the accident would have been avoided if the guidelines that existed would have been followed however BP did not in any way poses a functional system for the safety culture that existed. The entire process was a failure and if some tactics would have been followed according to the prevention act that was in place the disaster would not have happened. Some of the preventable situations that caused the incident were; poor decision making, bad communication, failure of signal analysis, and inadequate organizational-managerial process. If the mentioned factors would have been looked at seriously and the concerned staff deal with the situation as it was required, we would not be talking about the explosion (Crone, and Maya 634). BP knew that there was a faulty pipe in the blowout preventer. Nonetheless the opted to ignore it and hence did nothing to solve the situation (Crone, and Maya 634). The contingency plan that was in place had many errors and miscalculation hence if their plan was well analyzed the problem would not exist. The three four parties that were solely responsible for the explosion did not care about the risks that they were in as they often neglected simple tasks that would have saved the lives of the people that died and the billions of dollars of the penalty that they got.

Personal opinion

Considering the damage that occurred and the one that happened after the incident it is quite clear that none of the parties did what was required of them. The negligence was due to BP and the partners who after the incident all pointed fingers at each other. Such character proves that they all had a part to play in the disaster thus they had to be involved in claiming responsibility for the explosion. The assertion made was that if the parties had a clear mind when running the project, then simple tasks such as; managerial skills would be something that would have been done appropriately. The pre-loss and post-loss was bad for business and from the different studies that have been conducted none of the shareholders played [art in preventing the disaster. After the incident there was some other negligence observed, BP was not accurately providing the data that it gathered from the field concerning the devastation that the explosion had caused. When the case is carefully analyzed the sentencing was fair due to the losses that had occurred. For future prevention it would be better if the government would carefully observe a project such as this one.

Works Cited

ABBRIAN, RAFFAELA M., et al. "Deepwater horizon oil spill." Oceanography 24.3 (2011): 294.

Crone, Timothy J., and Maya Tolstoy. "Magnitude of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil leak." Science 330.6004 (2010): 634-634.

Walker, Bailus. "Deepwater horizon oil spill." Journal of environmental health 73.4 (2010): 49-50.

White, Helen K., et al. "Impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on a deep-water coral community in the Gulf of Mexico." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109.50 (2012): 20303-20308.

February 01, 2023


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