Bp Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Essay

2312 words - 9 pages

Buildup to the BP-Oil Spill
The eventual buildup to the BP oil spill started during the Bush Administration. The Bush Administration's oil demand and antigovernment sensibility soiled the Minerals Management Service (MMS), the agency charged with regulating offshore drilling. Vice President Dick Cheney had presided over the weakening of drilling regulations, including the exclusion of remote-shut-off switches which might have prevented the disaster. Soon, MMS was nothing but a shell of its former shell filled with corruption and political influence. In a 2008 report it was found that the agency's regulators were taking gifts from, and having sex with the employees of, the companies they were supposed to be monitoring. Furthermore, the regulators allowed companies to fill out their own inspection forms which were later outlined in pen by the MMS employees. Further, reports also indicate that MMS gave permission to BP drill in the Gulf of Mexico without first getting required permits from the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) that assess threats to endangered species and to assess the impact the drilling was likely to have on the gulf. Additionally, the Obama Administration’s neglect in changing the negative outcomes of the Bush Administration further increased and allowed the disaster to happen.
The Oil Spill

The BP oil spill happened off the United States coast in the Gulf of Mexico and is considered the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. After the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded and sunk it continued to leak oil for 87 days until it was capped, which resulted in an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil leaking into the ocean. The Deep Water Horizon was a semi-submersible, mobile, floating, positioned drilling that could operate in waters up to 10,000 feet (3,000 m) deep. The rig was built by South Korean company Hyundai Heavy Industries. The rig was drilling a 35,050 feet (10,680 m) deep exploratory well in approximately 5,100 feet (1,600 m) of water. The well is situated in the Macondo Prospect in Mississippi Canyon Block 252 (MC252) of the Gulf of Mexico, whilst also maintained by Halliburton, and Transocean the rig was majority owned and operated by the British Petroleum. On April 20, 2010, high-pressure methane gas from the well expanded into the drilling riser and rose into the drilling rig, where it ignited and exploded, engulfing the platform. At the time, 126 crew members were on board: seven BP employees, 79 of Transocean and employees of various other companies. Eleven workers were presumed dead, never being found. The Deepwater Horizon sank on the morning of 22 April 2010. The efforts to contain the leak at first were unsuccessful due to miscalculations and misinterpretations of what was required. However, on September 19, 2010 the well was permanently sealed when a relief well was dug into the oil deposit and cement was poured into the oil well. The...

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