Mexican Gulf Oil Spill- Lessons Learned

Topics: Exxon Valdez oil spill, Petroleum, Oil spill Pages: 21 (6517 words) Published: December 15, 2010
Management report

Mexican Gulf Oil Spill – Lessons Learned


Table of Contents:

1. Basic facts3

2. Triggering the leak 4

3. Media coverage4

4. Corporate activity in terms of stopping the leak 6

5. Corporate activity in terms of reducing the harm and damage 9 compensation

6. Long term issues10

7. Lessons learned13

8. Management recommendations 15

1. Basic facts

The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill 2010 is also referred to as the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, the BP Oil Spill, the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, the BP Oil Disaster or the Macondo Blowout. The oil spill of the Gulf of Mexico started on April 20, 2010 with the explosion on the Transocean Deepwater Horizon Rig. “Deepwater Horizon” is a 5th generation, dynamic positioned (DP) semi-submersible oil rig owned by Transocean. The explosion has injured 17 platform workers and 11 are missing, presumably dead. The oil rig sank on April 22, 2010 which caused massive amount of oil to leak out into the Gulf of Mexico. The spill occurred some 50 miles away from the cost of Venice, Louisiana. Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill of 2010 is considered the biggest offshore oil spill in US history as it crossed the mark of 10.8 million gallons of oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez, previous largest oil spill in US. The source of the oil is a deepwater wellhead 5,000 feet or 1,500 meters below the ocean surface. Every day 210,000-260,000 gallons of crude oil has been wasted and added to the water of the Gulf of Mexico. This is equivalent of 1 Olympic pool every 3 days. Some scientists state that the rate is much higher than this. Oil spill covers a total area of more than 4000 square miles which is 10 times larger than the area of New York City. But even a larger area is polluted by oil underwater, which cannot be seen from the surface. The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill 2010 has greatly devastated the marine and wildlife habitats. This has put the population of turtles (Loggerhead, Kemp’s Ridley), mammals (Fin Whales, Sperm Whales, and Bottlenose Dolphin), fish (Tuna, Sailfish, Jack etc) and pelagic birds in that area in grave danger. These animals need to be protected.

The initial loss for the fishing industry was 2.73 billion USD. US government has named BP as the responsible party for this disaster. The Deepwater Horizon was worth more than 560 million dollars. And the cost to clear up the huge mess on the water will be about $12.5 billion. BP will pay the entire cost themselves.

Unfortunately, for those of us who care about the environment, this statement covers only monetary costs. It is doubtful that there will be any attempts to replenish the ecosystems that will undoubtedly be crippled by the spill. Sure, animal rescues and cleanup will be underway, but what about the inevitable diminished population of creatures in the area?

Various organizations are currently working on keeping the oil as contained as possible. Methods in use include dispersants and skimmers. However, the oil is leaking under 5,000 feet of water. These methods may not prove to be as useful in this situation as they have been in others. At this point, all we can do is hope that a few competent people can stem this disaster before the Gulf of Mexico has yet another "dead zone."

2. Triggering the leak
The fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon reportedly started at 9:56 p.m. CDT on April 20, 2010. At the time, there were 126 crew on board: seven employees of BP, 79 of Transocean, as well as employees of various other companies involved in the operation of the rig, including Anadarko, Halliburton and M-I Swaco. According to Transocean executive Adrian Rose, abnormal pressure accumulated inside the marine riser and as it came up it "expanded rapidly and ignited". According to interviews with platform workers conducted during BP's internal...
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