Bp Oil Spill Analysis

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  • Topic: Petroleum, Exxon Valdez oil spill, Oil spill
  • Pages : 20 (6376 words )
  • Download(s) : 1201
  • Published : March 17, 2011
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1. Scope of Research

The spectrums of oil spill issues are diverse and large. They range from environmental issue to economic, ecological, ethical, politics and policies. Among many other oil spills, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, occurred on April 20, 2010 was recorded as the greatest environmental disaster in our history (BP leak the world's worst accidental oil spill, 2010).

The goal of our research is to seek possible solutions to reduce the risks of offshore oil spills. To attain this goal, we gathered information from over twenty sources, including “Deepwater Horizon oil” from Wikipedia research and an article from the LA Times.

Our research focused mainly on four aspects of the BP oil spill, the aspects of environment, economy, politics and policy, and the internal BP crisis. At first, we went over the background of BP and its oil spill to identify the issues. Secondly, we analyzed problems and issues of four main categories. We addressed impacts on: marine ecology and human health risk as an environmental issue, economic loss and compensation problems as an economic issue, offshore drilling policy issue as a political issue, and BP’s internal management crisis.

After analyzing BP oil spill problems, we discussed possible solutions for each problem we dealt with by analyzing pros and cons of each. Finally, we suggest recommendations for each solution.

2. Background

Deepwater Horizon, one of BP’s drilling rigs, had a blowout on April 20th, 2010, which led to the most serious oil spill disaster in the Mexico Gulf. Eleven workers were killed in the explosion and fourteen people were injured (Robertson & Krauss, 2010). Up to 100,000 barrels of oil was going into the sea every day. As much as 68,000 square miles of sea were polluted (Burdeau, Cain, 2010). This incident causes several tough problems including environmental, political, economic and legal problems.

After finding the spill of oil, BP took several methods to stem the oil flow. The most successful method was the process of positioning a riser insertion tube into the wide burst pipe. According to BP, its one-day oil recovery effort accounted for about 25,000 barrels of oil, and the flaring off of 57.1 million cubic feet of natural gas. On July 15, the leak was stopped by capping the gushing wellhead after releasing about 4.9 million barrels, or 185 million gallons of crude oil (Kerr, 2010).

History of Major Oil Spill Events

According to the data list below, major oil spill events happened on the continent and were far away from the U.S. The BP oil spill brings a more severe consequence because it happened offshore, that means it could bring more damage and pollution to the environment and ecology.

Tanker| Location| Year| Tons of crude oil| Barrels|
Kuwaiti oil fires| Kuwait| 1991| 136,000,000-205,000,000| 1,000,000,000-1,500,000,000| Kuwaiti oil lakes| Kuwait| 1991| 3,409,000-6,818,000| 25,000,000-50,000,00| Lakeview Gusher| United States| 1910-1911| 1,200,000| 9,000,000| Gulf War oil spill| Iraq| 1991| 818,000–1,091,000| 6,000,000–8,000,000| Deepwater Horizon| United States, Gulf of Mexico| 2010| 560,000-585,000| 4,100,000-4,300,000| Ixtoc| Mexico, Gulf of Mexico| 1979| 454,000–480,000| 3,329,000–3,520,000| Oil spills.(n.d). (Oct 9, 2010), retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_spill

BP Company and Past Problems

BP is a global company whose product or service includes bio fuels, gas and oil, route and journey planner, solar powered energy, and Liquidized Petroleum Gas (LPG) (BP, n.d). The company is headquartered in London, United Kingdom. The products and services of BP are available in over 100 countries. BP is one of the largest gas and oil producers in the U.S. and its stock is also traded in the New York Stock Exchange (BP, n.d).

Besides the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, BP has been involved in a number of environmental,...
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