On the BP Gulf Oil Spill - Research Paper Example

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Contents
1 Chapter 1 4
1.1 Introduction 4
1.2 Nature of the Issue 5
1.3 Research Question 6
1.4 Research Objective 7
2 Chapter 2 8
2.1 Literature Review 8
2.1.1 Theory of Externalities 8
2.1.2 Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Clean-up 10…
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Research Paper on the BP Gulf Oil Spill
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Download file to see previous pages 2.1.4 Financial Implication of the Oil Spill 14
3 Chapter 3 15
3.1 Research Methodology 15
3.1.1 Research Framework 16
3.1.2 Data Collection 16
4 Chapter 4 17
4.1 Discussion and Findings 17
5 Chapter 5 18
5.1 Conclusion 18
5.2 Recommendation 19
5.3 Limitation 19
References 21
Appendices 23
1 Chapter 1
1.1 Introduction
An oil spill is the accidental release of liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the marine areas due to human negligence and is one of the major causes of sea water pollution. Despite the improved technologies to prevent crude oil spills in the marine environment the accidents continue to occur. The recent case of a large oil spill is the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico for which several companies were responsible to varying degrees and BP was the most prominent party to the incident. The worst oil spill U.S. faced before this Gulf Oil Spill was Exxon Valdez in 1989 in Alaska (Ramseur & Ramseur, 2011, p.1). On April 20, 2010, the oil drilling rig at Deepwater Horizon of BP was near completion when the uncontained release of oil and natural gas caused explosion resulting in the largest oil spill in U.S. waters and killing 11 people and injuring 15. Nearly 200 million gallons of oil was released into the sea over approximately 84 days. However the oil leak was discovered four days after the explosion when BP sent a team of experts to cover the source of leakage. This incident has charged BP with the clean-up costs, economic and natural resources’ damage costs, Clean Water Act (CWA) penalties etc probably leading to approximately $41 billion (Ramseur & Ramseur, 2011, p.1). The initial estimate of the oil spill was 1000 barrels per day which was later revised at up to 60,000 barrels per day (Hiles, 2011, pp.13). By the first week of May BP began the drilling of deep water intercept well half a mile from the leaking oil well. The attempt was to intercept the existing wellbore at around 16000 feet below the sea surface. The process was estimated to take 90 days. The oil slick was discovered to be drifting towards the Florida and Alabama coasts. Not to burn the oil was a decision made between polluted air and endangered sea life. Various measures were taken by the US Government and BP to contain the damage. The case gained worldwide attention and criticism of the policies and measures regarding the prevention of oil spills and protection of marine ecosystem. 1.2 Nature of the Issue The demand for energy has constantly grown leading gigantic efforts and big investments by the energy companies to locate new oil supplies. The Deepwater Horizon was a $365m offshore drilling unit where massive amount of oil was spilled due to two subsequent explosions in the summer of 2010. The incident affected the ecological environment of the Mexican Gulf and has directly harmed the Gulf fishing industry. The demand of the Gulf seafood has probably decreased due to changes in consumers’ perception about the spill (Upton, 2011, p.3). Many of the factors which are believed to have contributed to the BP disaster are technological and regulatory failures. Evidence suggests that the spill was an outcome of lack of proper oversight during the transition of rig oil from exploration to production. In the wake of such disastrous and rare event, federal law-makers have unsuccessfully tried to address the causes and enact policies to guide the economic and environmental recovery of the Gulf region. President Obama issued a moratorium on the planned offshore drilling at the time of the incident. The moratorium banned the deepwater drilling activities in the Gulf region allowing only the existing production to continue. Many have criticized the Federal Government for taking such step without analyzing the exact cause of incident. However this step has served neither to address the principal cause of the accident nor aided in economic rehabilitation of the Gulf economy. It has been estimated that the loss of economic activity in US and Gulf of Mexico region is likely to be total lost output of $2769m and 12046 lost jobs (Appendix 1) (Mason, 2010, p.1). In this paper an in-depth research has been done to find out how the domestic and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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