The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

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Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
The Context
Before the occurrence of the Deepwater Horizon event, BP had already been labelled as having a horrible safety record. A 2009 report by the United States Department of Labour Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Todd & Petterson , 2009), indicated that BP had 270 existing fines of a ‘failure to abate’ and 439 ‘wilful violations’ of various safety protocols.
At the time of the disaster the regulators of the oil industry in the United States was the Material Management Service. This department was known for their ‘misconduct, unethical conduct, and unlawful activities’ (Hogue, 2010).
This Case Study aims to look at the Deepwater Horizon oil spill from the view of how BP and the US government
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The Catastrophe
In February 2010, the Deepwater Horizon began the task of drilling a well in Macondo Prospect of the Gulf of Mexico (Group, 2011). Once this was completed, the task of cementing the hole in order seal the well bore from the reservoir sand (BP, 2010). At 8:00 PM on April 20, 2010, while preparing to temporary abandon the well, the BP Accident Investigation report (BP, 2010) states that there was a negative pressure inside the well causing it to flow. While this occurs, BP (BP, 2010) states, the lighter seawater that replaced the mud inside the column should have decreased the pressure. By 9:40 PM, mud had overflowed onto the floor of the Deepwater Horizon and then through the Derrick (BP, 2010). Following this, the blowout preventer was activated to stop the flow, however this had not worked. Gas had then leaked out, which resulted in an explosion, causing significant damage to the oil platform. BP (BP, 2010) also believed that the damaged Blowout preventer continued to fuel the fire with gas after the initial explosion.
As a result of this, the explosion had resulted in the deaths of eleven personnel and the dispersal of nearly five million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico (Pallardy, 2014).
There was also an immediate response by the United States congress in the legislation governing oil and gas operations. According to a Congressional Research Service report (Hagerty & Jonathan , 2014), the 111th Congress had held over ’60 hearings’
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