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Analysis of British Petroleum's management of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico's oil spill - Essay Example

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Introduction The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has gone down in history as one of the greatest spillages in the world. In fact, as Zeller (2010) explains, the spill was greater than the blowout that was experienced on the Mexican coast or even the Alaskan Exxon Valdez spill…
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Analysis of British Petroleums management of the 2010 Gulf of Mexicos oil spill
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Download file to see previous pages There was also a huge fouling of beaches in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama which meant that the leisure activities of many people had to be put to a halt not to mention the many beach hotels that suffered huge losses due to lack of customers (Eilperin, & Mufson, 2010; Tangley, 2010). The spill resulted into hundreds of law suits that were filed. A special investigative panel consisting of officials from the coast guard office as well as the department of Interior was constituted by President Obama to look into the issues that surround the oil spill. BP began an assessment of the resource damage as soon as they managed to control the spillage. The losses incurred by the company are huge since at least 185,000,000 gallons (which comes to around 4.4 million barrels) of oil was lost. The clean up process might have succeeded to remove the spilt oil but the ramifications on the environment are probably going to last for decades to come (Jervis, & Levin, 2010; Jervis, 2010) There are many questions concerning the resource damage that might not be fully answered any time soon. The extensive media coverage during the duration of the spill raised important questions that unfortunately did not have very comprehensive answers. For instance: the delay in response to the emergency, the companies that are to blame and most importantly and if the environment could survive such a disaster. Who is to blame? Before the OPA 90 was passed, it was not very clear who amongst the federal state, private players and the other local officials was directly responsible in the event of an oil spill of the magnitude of the BP Mexican gulf spill. The current legislation now demands that federal government should step in immediately when such a disaster strikes. The responsibility on the government according to the OPA 90 covers spills on the land as well as coastal spills. Offshore incidents like the recent BP Gulf of Mexico spill lie well in these boundaries. In the same breathe; the OPA 90 also includes the coast guard as a party that should be in charge of evacuations and control of the spillage. The biggest challenge of this is that the coast guard may not have access to the kind of equipment and personnel that it requires to handle such spills. However, legislation gives the coast guard the authority to acquire the equipment from private companies. BP was consistently present during the control of the spill and though it was largely in charge of the process, it was also assisted by personnel and equipment that the coast guard had acquired. There was some tension between the government and BP originally. This tension was addressed by the reports made by the president’s commission. Ideally, the responsible party is both the partner and the adversary since they are in charge of containing the spill and they are also required to take responsibility for all damages. It is a relationship that often confuses the general public but it is something that was established in the OPA 90 (Schwartz, 2010). Oil spill management is usually based on the National Contingency plan. The National Contingency plan identifies the national, regional as well as the local infrastructures. It integrates the different agencies that might be involved in the event of a spill. The National Contingency plan usually comes up with an initial disaster response team both nationally and regionally. It coordinates the efforts by setting up an on-site coordinator as well as a centralised command ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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