BP and the Deepwater Horizon Disaster

303 words | 2 page(s)

Key Issues

An oil spillage was the main problem that caused the BP and the Deepwater Horizon Disaster. The disaster is one of the most comprehensive environmental problems in US history, which demanded the quick protection of water reservoirs and land. Details show that a methane gas explosion was the primary cause of the problem, which eventually led to pressure in the rig. However, despite the natural occurrences, multiple human errors added to the larger problem of oil spillage.

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           The structural problem was the inability of the responders to contain the pressure from the rig due to the nature of construction. Thus, human capabilities were limited due to the lack of capacity for dealing with the excessive pressure from the oil and gas. The political and cultural implications were the greatest impediment to the containment of the disaster on account of lack of prior knowledge of dealing with a problem of such magnitude. 


           The containment of the disaster can be divided into short-term, long-term and legislative. From the onset, there were process problems of poor communication between the management and workforce. The long-term processes were laden with delays, and lack of consensus as the management and the workers worked from different realms. Still, there were legislative problems where BP and environmental policies would not align with the reality at the rig.


  • Deal with immediate containment by offloading the pressure through the possible means.

  • Evacuate the rig and only remain with people containing the problem from an adjacent structure.

  • Apply simulation before fully proposing the use of a containment measure, whether short-term and long-term.

  • Undertake structural changes by ensuring the easy containment of problems and pressure from the rig, whether from oil, gas and other liquids.

  • Undertake intensive employee training to ensure the full containment knowledge is embedded in the workforce.

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