Essay on Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: the Bp Disaster

2309 Words May 23rd, 2013 10 Pages
AP Environmental Science
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: The BP Disaster
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was one of the most infamous industrial environmental disasters ever. On April 20, 2010, a marine oil-drilling dig called the Deepwater Horizon exploded, releasing hundreds of millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. This explosion resulted in the loss of human life, massive environmental damage, and widespread damage to the livelihood of people living along the Gulf Coast. The organization with the largest share in the oil drill, BP (Beyond Petroleum), is still facing consequences of this spill and lost millions of dollars as well as national support. The Obama administration also received criticism
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Ultimately, the BOP emergency functions failed to seal the well after the initial explosions.” (BP, 2010). Immediately following this explosion, a series of investigations took place by a list of teams of investigators. The two most prevalent investigations were made by a team of investigators sent by BP and the White House Oil Spill Commission. The investigations brought up a plethora of reasons for the spill and focused on a number of different failures that led to the explosion. Both investigations cited that two pieces of machinery which were built to isolate hydrocarbons from entering the well—the annulus cement barrier and the shoe track barriers—failed to do so. This resulted in hydrocarbons entering the well and the control of the well being lost. The investigations also cited that although well integrity had not been established, the BP team leader accepted a negative-pressure test, the results of which were taken from a process that is not the BP preferred method. The White House investigation differed from the BP investigation, however, because the White House panel was able to place blame where they felt was necessary: on BP and its contractors. The report issued by the White House Oil Spill Commission reads “Whether purposeful or not, many of the decisions that BP, Halliburton, and Transocean made that

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