BP Oil Spill
The United States consumes 19.5 million barrels of oil each day. (Rahman,K. Sabeel, 2011)
This demonstrates how dependent the American society is on fossil fuel. This need for large amount of oil to keep the economy moving is having serious environmental impact, particularly in areas where large off shore drilling platforms are located. Each year, approximately one billion gallons of oil is spilled in the ocean. The BP oil spill accident is just of the many oil spills that have occurred in the Gulf of Mexico. There are several events that led to this accident. Firstly was the last of control over the pressure in the well. This followed by the failure of the ...view middle of the document...
Anadarko Petroleum told BP that the clean up operation could take up to four years and that BP should foot the entire bill. The president of the US, President Obama at the time of the oil spill accident asked Secretary Chu to lead a team of administration officials and government scientist to Huston Texas for extensive dialogue with BP officials to find potential solutions. This request by the president for dialogue between government officials and BP officials was important because the president felt obligated to the American people, especially those directly affected by this disaster.
Economical Gaps Committed by BP
The economical gaps that contributed to the BP Oil Spill include engineering mistakes and management failures. The design of the cement slurry that was used to seal the bottom of the well was defective; however, this was not evident to the engineers who conducted the testing. The focus was on the negative pressure test, but no attention was paid to the cementing which proved to be not strong enough for the level of pressure. Another gap was the lack of knowledge of the personnel handling the well. Instead of leaving the drilling mud in place that could have helped protect the well and potentially prevent the blowout that cause the spill, the decision was made to remove the drilling mud.
There was some degree of oversight of the oil rigs; however, the oversight was inadequate. It was evident that BP was not paying sufficient attention to safe and sound operations of its oil rigs, but was relying solely of government inspections rather than getting a handle on the risks within its own operations. Another major gap was the failure of the industry to share best practices. (FDCHP Political Transcripts, 2010) BP had not planned on conducting cement bond log test to identify weaknesses in the cement. (Business Insider,2010). Instead, it stopped the testing on the lining of the oil well lining five days before the explosion, while keeping the oilfield testing firm Schlumberger on standby, according to NOLA[->0].
Other failures that contributed to the disaster were BP’s misconceptions that "a large oil spill" from a platform would not exceed a total of 1,500 barrels, a "deepwater spill, and “occurring” offshore of the inner Continental shelf" would not reach the coast, a large spill would likely total 4,600 barrels and would dissipate within 10 days without making landfall. (Washington Post, 2010) According to BP’s exploration plan for Lease 206 , the prospect of an oil spill was unlikely; therefore, it had had no plans outside of the regulatory requirements to “avoid, diminish or eliminate potential impacts on environmental resources." (Washington Post, 2010)
BP’s plan included an environmental impact analysis; however, it did not focus on any serious damage associated with an oil spill, as BP did not believe that its operations would lead to an oil spill. (Washington Post, 2010)
Engineering gaps that did not...