Bp Ethical Issues

Topics: Risk management, Risk, Management Pages: 5 (1639 words) Published: August 17, 2013
1. Originally, an Ethics and Compliance team was formed to monitor the formation and operation of the company guidance towards ethical issues in BP’s company. Just like to set up a communication consistent standard for all the employees of BP for different location, culture and language. Originally, this is a good way to guide the company staff to maintain company standard and reputation. But the code did not effectively address specific high-risk activities for the scope of daily operations. It was quite reasonable because at the very beginning stage of drafting the related guidelines, not every experience or assumed circumstancs were fully considered in the daily operations. Unfortunately, after the spill happened, several reports have pointed out that BP's internal problems were the main causes of the disaster. In 2009, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had put a record largest fine of $87 million upon BP’s company. In the investigation, the OSHA has issued as many as 271 notifications to BP’s company. The notifications were mainly dealing with a series of misconducts which BP’s company performed in the 2005 Texas refinery explosion hazard.

Moreover, BP’s company improper management and lack of adequate safety precautions were once again been found in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill at Mexico in 2010. Millions of gallons of oil were discharged into the Gulf of Mexico in this incident. The nearby environment was highly deteriorated and many precious lives had lost. On 5 January 2011, a report has been issued by the White House oil spill commission, it pointed out that BP, Halliburton, and Transocean had helped to trigger the explosion, in order to minimize the working cost of the operation. Regardless of the intention of BP’s company towards the disaster, the actions taken by the company had undoubtedly increased the risk of the explosion. The report also blamed the BP’s company for not adopting enough measurements or tests to evaluate the situation of the excavation venue, such as the absence of strength tests of the cement, the absence of the cement bond log test, ignoring the failure of some pressure tests, etc. The panel noted that BP may spend lower cost to do the project, but they ignored the risk or they have not properly considered the seriousness and consequences of the spill and finally made 11 workers got killed.

From the previous two hazardous events, we can see that BP’s company did underestimate the ethical care when they performed different projects. The highest priority in lowering cost to maximize profit had largely increase the risk that frontline operational staff faced. Different reports had pointed out that the lack of safety precautions and tests made the situation even risky. The misconducts were not simply negligence but also some deliberate decisions in order to cut down the cost. As claimed in the reports issued by the White House oil spill commission, the government officials had not enough technical knowledge to evaluate the safety supervision and precaution measures. The self-discipline and self-control by the company were critical. The BP’s company had not performed the best in these cases. They should have enough predictions as they should beware that oil excavation has one kind of risky industry in which a mistake would lead to hazardous incident as oil is highly combustible and it takes long time to decompose. From the two cases, we can obviously conclude that BP’s company has paid less concern on this area. The revenue-based ideology has largely hindered the company to carry out enough ethical concern towards the safety of workers and the potential effects to the environment.

2. In the spill case, in my opinion, I don’t think BP is the victim. BP doesn't make the plan perfectly. As mentioned in the previous, oil excavation was obviously a high risk industry. Therefore, the supervision in the scope of daily operation was critical but it is clear that BP has...
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