Final Issue Analysis
The BP Oil Spill
On April 20, 2010, the Gulf of Mexico was changed forever. The explosion of a deepwater oil-drilling rig changed the lives of millions for years to come. The Gulf of Mexico as we knew it would be changed for decades to come after the mistakes made by the Deepwater Horizon’s crew that day. British Petroleum, the oil giant responsible for the disaster, left the American citizens of the Gulf Coastal region terrified and helpless. There were seventeen men injured in the explosion and eleven unaccounted for presumed dead, while hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico (BP Oil). The oil spill caused ...view middle of the document...
The explosion and spill of 2010 very well could have been avoided because in 2009 she advised the government and BP itself on the many wrong doings on BP’s oilrigs (Lustgarten).
In November of 2009, BP’s Vice President of exploration in the Gulf of Mexico explained to the senate, “I think we need to remember that offshore drilling has been going on for the last 50 years, and it has been going on in a way that is both safe and protective of the environment”(Walsh). Ironically, this most definitely was not the case seeing what happened with the Deepwater Horizon’s rig this past April. There are many different issues involving what went wrong and led to the blowout. The engineering of the rig, decision making of the workers on the rig, limited supervision, and mechanical deficiency were all major factors in the failure of the rig. Hydrocarbons, or the gas particles, were allowed to diffuse into the production casing because the shoe track barrier was not cemented properly to the bottom of the well. This caused there to be negative pressure in the well, which was not detected by the crew. As the hydrocarbons rose, they were not separated and expelled overboard but rather sent straight to the rig. The rigs blowout preventer was also not working in sync and when enough gas reached the engine an explosion resulted. Following the explosion, the blowout preventers at the bottom of the well should have capped the leak and created but failed to (BP Internal). All of these factors are very frustrating, but the one that seems unacceptable is the under training of the Deepwater Horizon crew.
Many Americans worry that the Gulf of Mexico will never be restored to the way it once was before the BP oil spill. The amount of oil leaked into the gulf and the amount of pollution caused by this leakage is unbearable. Five days after the explosion, the US coast guard published that there were 1,000 barrels of oil per day escaping from the busted well site. By June12, officials posted a final estimation that there has been 40,000 barrels per day leaking into the gulf (BP Oil). The oil was coming from the ocean floor, which makes it harder to contain and allows it to disperse easier. Eighty percent of the oil released from the well remained under the surface harming and killing the plants and animals within all depths of the water, unlike the Exxon Valdez spill where oil was dumped onto the surface (Nijuhuis). Also, with the spill occurring off the coast of Louisiana, many species were put in danger when oil slick and tar balls washed into the marsh. Clean up efforts are very difficult in this type of terrain because the oil collects in the thick grasses. The marshes of Louisiana along with Mississippi Delta are spawning grounds and the habitat for several types of fish and animals and that were impaired by the invasion of oil. A local shrimper remembered how numerous dolphins and seagulls would follow his boat waiting for the unwanted catch, but now he barely sees...