BP Oil Spill Gulf BP Oil Spill Essay

  • Length: 5 pages
  • Sources: 4
  • Subject: Transportation - Environmental Issues
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #88395807

Excerpt from Essay :

BP Oil Spill Gulf.

BP Oil Spill

A Detailed Description of the issue 3

The basis of the issue 6

What ethical change, deficiency, or conflict brought it about

BP Oil Spill happen Gulf.

"BP is in the business of finding oil, refining it, and selling the gas (and propane, etc.) that results. In the course of doing business, BP interacts with a huge range of individuals and organizations, and those interactions bring with them ethical obligations" (Chris, 2010). In doing this business the company has to comply with the ethical obligation like; Offer the product to the satisfaction of the customer, have an honest contract with suppliers; comply with the workplace health and safety standards and implementing environmental regulations. But the oil spill of 2010 has proved that the company is not fully implementing these business ethics and has been criticized internationally. (Chris MacDonald, 2010)

In this report, the author discusses the issue of latest Gulf oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by British Petroleum, the basis of the issue and what ethical conflict have emerged as a result of this issue.

a. A Detailed Description of the issue

On Tuesday, April 20, 2010 a Transocean (brand) oil rig named the Deepwater Horizon explosion on board and erupted into a blaze. The rig was part of British Petroleum's (BP) Macondo project, located 42 miles off of the Venice, Louisiana coast drilling at depths 5,000 feet under water and 13,000 feet under the seabed (CNBC, 2010). There were 126 crew members aboard the station when it exploded -- 115 of them were accounted for with 17 having to be evacuated off the rig for medical attention and 11 missing (McClain, 2010). Two days later, another explosion occurred. A five mile long oil slick resulted from the damage (Guardian, 2010). The next day, the United States Coast Guard called off the search for the 11 missing workers because they were presumed to be dead and the rig was located flipped over a quarter of a mile from the original explosion site.

On April 25, 2010, the United States Coast Guard, with the help of a remote underwater camera, discovered that an oil well at the site of the explosion was leaking 1,000 barrels of crude oil per day (CNBC, 2010). In response to this revelation, the Coast Guard approved a plan to use underwater vehicles to attach a blowout preventer to stop the leak. Fifteen thousand gallons of dispersants and 21,000 feet of containment boom were used at the site of the explosion in an effort to contain the oil (Guardian, 2010). BP's stock shares dropped 2% due to investors' fears of the clean-up efforts financial obligation.

Then, on April 28, the Coast Guard stated that the flow of oil was greater than what was first estimated and those 5,000 barrels of oil per day was flowing from the leak (CNBC, 2010; Guardian, 2010). Fire was set to the oil slick located 20 miles off the coast of Louisiana in an attempt to reduce pollution. The next day, President Obama made his first public comment on the leak and assured the public that every resource would be used to contain the spill, but he noted that BP was to be held accountable for the clean-up efforts. On April 29, 2010, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana declared Louisiana a state of emergency because oil was approaching land and feared that oil would destroy natural resources. Off-shore drilling was prohibited in new locations and all oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico were required to be inspected for safety to reduce the occurrence of another disaster.

On May 2nd, fishing was prohibited in areas affected by the spill for a period of 10 days. The same day, President Obama visited the Gulf Coast to observe the oil spill firsthand and BP began the process of drilling a relief well next to the failed well. On May 5th, BP successfully caped the leaking valve, but the amount of oil leaking in the ocean was not diminished because of two additional leaks. The next day oil made landfall on Chandeleur Island off the Louisiana coast; Chandeleur Island is an island that is uninhabited but part of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge. The fishing ban was modified to include additional waters and was extended until May 17. A researcher at Purdue University, Steve Wereley told the press, on May 13th, that he believes that the well was actually leaking 70,000 barrels per day.

The efforts to stop the leak were made both from BP and U.S. Coastal Guard. (CNN, 2010). On July 12, BP installed a new cap with a better seal. Three days later, BP announces that it has stopped the leak (CNBC). Several months later on November 25, tar balls were discovered in a scrimping trawl close to the spill site. This site was closed for fishing but has since been reopened.

The leak led to extensive fishing bans in the Gulf of Mexico. While the initial ban was implemented for only a ten day period, the ban was extended. Federal waters that were closed on May 2, 2010 began reopening on July 2, 2010. In October of 2010, when the experiment was performed, 10.9% of the waters were closed. Of the 229,270 square miles that were closed, only a 1,041 square mile area that encloses the spill site remained closed on March 1, 2011 (NOAA, 2011).

Nearly six thousand people along with 445 ships and 11 aircrafts assisted in the cleanup efforts (BP, 2010). A total of 3,256,547 feet of boom were used to assist in the cleanup (BP, 2010). The amount of oil that was skimmed from the leak was 827,046 barrels and an additional 265,450 barrels were burn off the ocean in a controlled burn (BP, 2010). During the duration of the leak 1,072,514 gallons of surface dispersants were used and 771,272 gallons of subsurface dispersants were used in the cleanup effort (BP, 2010).

The potential for another oil spill lingers. Currently, there are more than 27,000 abandoned oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico owned by various companies including BP, with some of these rigs being there since the 1940's. State officials estimate that most of the rigs are badly sealed leaving the door open for more potential leaks (Guardian, 2010).

Attempts to stop the leak were made by BP such as putting a containment cap on the leak and it proved effective; however, the United States government estimated that as much as 19,000 barrels per day might were leaking out of the oil well (CNBC, 2010). As BP attempted to stop the leak, tar balls began to wash ashore in Florida. By this time, BP's market value of its stock had fallen $50 billion since the start of the oil spill.

On June 16th the oil giant set up a relief fund to pay victims damages resulting from the spill. In addition, BP agreed to pay lost wages to workers who are not able to work due to the ban of deep sea drilling.

b. The basis of the issue

It is being said that stricter rules and ethical standards could have lessen the loss of workers and animals in the Gulf due to BP oil spill. BP is also being criticized that to keep itself on the top of profit maximizing race, it ignored the values system and business ethics. It is evident from investigation that BP was aware of the danger and is liable for this incident. On June 1, 2010 the United States Justice Department began its criminal investigation into the leak (Guardian, 2010). Meanwhile, the United States closed more federal fishing waters; by this point, 37% of the federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico were closed (CNBC, 2010).

After investigation the House Energy and Commerce Committee described several findings from saying that. "Time after time, it appears that BP made decisions that increased the risk of a blowout to save the company time and expense," it was stated in the report;

"These seem to be the basic facts: the project was late and costing at least $500,000 a day in overruns; engineers were hurrying; they cut corners on the well design and safety features and tests According to an AP report, in an email four days before the well exploded a BP official wrote of an engineer's recommendation to use 21 "centralizers": "It will take 10 hours to install them. I do not like this." Later that day, another official recognized the risks of proceeding with only six centralizers but commented: "Who cares, it's done, end of story, and will probably be fine." (Carolyn Moynihan, 2010). From these findings it is clear that BP was responsible for this explosion.

c. What ethical change, deficiency, or conflict brought it about

BP (2010) highlighted that potential harmful effects that could occur ?through the consumption of seafood that is tainted with oil and dispersants. However, they also said that steps were in place to ensure…

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