Semester Research Project on BP and the Deepwater Horizon Disaster
Business 200 – 1005: Business Organization and Management
Nov. 12, 2020
British Petroleum Company was established in 1909, and in 2010 it reported the most significant marine oil spill to be experienced in the history of U.S waters. On July 15th, 2010, 5million containers (205.8million gallons)had poured into the Gulf of Mexico.A team of specialists estimated the oil flow rate severally and by august conclusion showed that spillage in the Gulf of Mexico was 53,000-62,000 each day.Deepwater Horizon is considered the most massive spill to ever happen in the United States waters. Since the founding of BP, the company has experienced other significant challenges, although the Deepwater Horizon disaster remains the largest (Kellar et al., 2017). For instance, in 1914, the oil company was bankrupt and needed intervention from the British government.In 1992 again, the company experienced another Bankruptcy strike after Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sold all the company shares making BP resume operations as a private company. Under the leadership of successiveCEOs, British Petroleum has experienced significant disasters. For instance, anexplosion occurred on March 23rd, 2005, at Texas City Refinery, claiming 15 lives and injured 180 people. The company lost more than 1.5billions from the blast.The second disaster was experienced in 2006, and it happened at Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay. The company faced spillage of 200,000 gallons or more. The pipeline had a corroded hole that led to the spill. Inspectors confirmed that the channel had rusted into hazardous thin levels over a distance of several miles.In the year 2010 occurred the most massive spillage ever experienced in the waters of the United States. More than a 205.8million gallons of oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico. One hundred twenty-six lives were lost, and 17 people were injured. The company experienced a considerable loss since an estimate of 700,000 gallons had spilled in the United States waters.
After the BP Company became bankrupt in 1914, it sought help from the government. Since Britain required a continuous supply of oil, Winston Churchill had to convince the government to buy 51% of the company shares. In 1992 the company experience yet another bankruptcy after resuming ownership of the company from the government. The company had lost $811million. At this time, the company could not seek help from the government, and it began taking growth strategies with the help of the CEO at that time, for instance, merging with competitor companies like Amoco and ARCO. After Tony Hayward replaced his predecessor John Browne CEO, he cut several levels in the management system. Hayward laid off many workers intending to cut the company’s operational cost. According to Hayward, many people were involved in making decisions, and this led to extreme cautiousness. After the oil spillage in Alaska Bay in 2006, the CEO John Browne held a meeting with the company’s 200 top leaders. The conference aimed to discuss and put emphasis on safety commitment. Messages on safety were sent to employees from the president of BPs in the United States of America. Managers participated in meeting together with employees to improve safety in the company. Due to employees’ concern, BP selected Stanley Sporkin, a retired Judge, to handle employees’ apprehensions.BP set aside $7billion to upgrade matters of safety. The company decided to replace the pipelines that had led to the spillage in Alaska Bay. After the biggest marine disaster referred to the deep-water horizon in 2010, BP had to take action (Kellar et al., 2017). BP being a company that was committed to safety, it was hard to understand how such a disaster could occur. The tragedy led to the idea of closing the Macondo well. By completing the well, decisions were made that involved risk mitigation, time, safety, and money. A team of investigators was formed to determine the cause of the disaster and come up with solutions.
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