British Petroleum (PLC) and John Browne: A Culture of Risk Beyond Petroleum Strayer BUS 519
October 30, 2011
The image as well as the operational business reputation of a corporation is critical to the survivability of the corporation in today’s business world. This reputation is even more critical when a business has is known globally with holdings and operations around the world. Such is the case with British Petroleum (BP) as it actively explores for oil in 26 countries around the world. BP is renowned as an industry leader in oil production and the refinement of oil related products such as gasoline, kerosene and motor oil products. In 1999, BP acquired American Oil Company, also known as AMOCO. Part of the acquisition included the Texas City Oil Refinery which was over 70 years old and had been noted as having a history of safety issues. Due to BP’s lack of focus on the safety issues presented in the 2004 Telos Group report coupled with the lack appropriate oversight and control, the Texas plant experienced a disastrous fire and explosion killing 15 workers and injuring 170 other personnel as stated by Halbert and Ingulli (2010) (p. 185). From this event BP faced legal issues with U.S. federal environmental laws (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and lawsuits from the families of victims, just to mention a few. An investigation by the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board released a report in 2007 that revealed process safety leadership issues starting with the senior management of BP as well as a disregard of safety concerns throughout the company. It also highlighted safety issues with the Alaskan Pipeline. BP at this point was faced with significant operational challenges and a major issue was a damaged reputation in the oil industry. This paper will discuss processes for a two day risk workshop to identify issues relevant to risks faced by BP. The paper will also discuss agenda items, the brainstorming process and the application of risk metalanguage to three of the identified project risks. British Petroleum (PLC) and John Browne: A Culture of Risk Beyond Petroleum Using the template found in Appendix B, Figure B-8, prepare a two-day workshop agenda encompassing this case
The principle objective of this project is to develop a strategic plan to restore the reputation of BP Oil Company as a responsible world leader in the exploration and production of oil, manufacture of oil products to include the chemical by products for other industries. The confidence needs to be restored with government agencies where BP has an operational presence. A good example would be with the United States and the state of Texas where the Texas oil refinery is located or the off-shore drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. The primary concerns would be the EPA and OSHA. Other stakeholders include the senior officers of the corporation, stockholders, investors, employees and civilians residing near BP facilities. The deliverables will be a series of recommendations for changes to current safety policies and guidelines to enhance efficient operations and restore global confidence in BP Oil’s ability to conduct operations with a minimized level of safety risks without impact to the stakeholders immediately impacted by the BP presence.
First I plan to hold a meeting with the key members of the project team to include functional representatives to perform pre-workshop planning. We will review the risk management plan for our project and review carefully selected plans from our lessons learned library in order to benchmark off of best practices. These will serve as part of our read ahead material. We should not discount looking at corporations in our industry to benchmark lessons learned for successful approaches for risk mitigation and problem resolution as well. Another aspect of the pre-plan preparation will...
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