British Petroleum Workshop Agenda Atom Process Analysis Essay


British Petroleum Workshop Agenda

ATOM Process Analysis and Procedure Recommendation

New Procedures to Stanch Risks

Brainstorming will follow the ATOM Process to formulate solutions to increase safety and better manage risks.

Justification for Agenda -- the three risk factors were identified in all of the reports. Therefore, they will drive the Brainstorming session. The session will center around these issues, their resolution and then how to introduce a safety conscious regime. The Likert scale scores of the risk criteria identified should speed the selection of appropriate risk management solutions.

The BP Texas City oil case is a classic case of risk management. In this case, we have a productive oil refinery that had paid off its initial investment long before. As we can see in the BP case, the Active Threats and Opportunities Management (ATOM) process is rarely implemented correctly (Hillson & Simon, 2007, 23). This is precisely what we will be doing in this workshop.

Assess and prioritize risks to the project through an analysis of the active threats and opportunities presented.


The Texas City Oil Refinery fire did not happen in a vacuum. There was a history of safety issues at the plant, even before the 2005 fire. This ATOM analysis will concentrate on those reports because the reports after the disaster are predisposed to blaming John Browne and the upper management at BP, though this may be justified since the refinery was a BP asset from 1999 on (Trevor, 2007, 4) Therefore, the Telos Report of 2004 should yield some good objective information for the ATOM process.

Telos Report -- A Culture of Risk

The Telos report of 2004 points out that the company at that time had quite a culture of risk with numerous accidents and even deaths on record . In this report, Telos cited numerous instances where maintenance war compromised or put off to save money or due to worker inability to follow the safety procedures. While the refinery's management was not antithetical to safety, there was what the Telos report called a culture of...


After the March 2005 explosion, two follow-on explosions occurred causing $32 billion dollars in property loss and another worker killed (ibid., 5). Certainly, the Telos and follow-on reports were accurate in their assessments.
ATOM Process

The ATOM process is a systematic process that begins with an initial first assessment that results in a project long implementation of this assessment. Of course, this was never implemented in the first place in the Texas City Refinery. If this had been the case, the ATOM Process would have looked briefly like the process below. However, if new management were taking over in a new project, they would be applying it to replace the old management culture with a new one.

ATOM Process

Initiate 1st Risk Assessment


Post Project Review

Contractors Initiate & 1st Risk Assessment

(Hillson & Simon, 2007, 26)

Risk Factors Identified in Reports

1. Management Culture of Risk

2. Deteriorating Infrastructure

3. Lax Safety Procedures and Implementation Errors

Project sponsor, stakeholders, team membership, and key decision influencer to develop a qualitative assessment of the project risks and apply the results to further refine the project risk management plan.

The ATOM process is scalable and will service a number of different groups. First, the project sponsor will likely be the new CEO and management team. They will be only the beginning of a long list of stakeholders with also include Texas City Refinery management (they were only implementing procedures dictated by the then corporate culture), the insurance inspector, the stockholders who are concerned about the impact of the accident upon the value of their stock and environmental groups who are concerned about BP's commitment to its stated program of environmental stability. The project length will likely be many years and will have a budget of millions of dollars to implement. This would therefore dictate a large project scale (ibid., 27).

Given the continued…

Sources Used in Documents:


Hillson, D., & Simon, P. (2007). Practical project risk management: The atom methodology. Vienna,

VA: Management Concepts.

Mouawad, J. (May 8, 2010). For BP, a History of Spills and Safety Lapses . Retrieved from

Trevor, H. (2007). British petroleum (plc)and john browne: a culture of risk beyond petroleum.

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