Deepwater Horizon Tragedy. The Ecology Essay Example

The destruction of the Deepwater Horizon caused 200 million gallons of crude oil to spill into the Gulf of Mexico. This oil well blowout that transpired on the night of April 20, 2010, was a complete catastrophe. Thousands of gallons of oil overwhelmed the drilling mud, bursting out from the Macondo Prospect riser pipe, while 126 Transocean crew members endeavored to contain the oil and gas explosion on board the blazing rig. The massive explosion could not be contained, even after countless attempts, due to the failure of the blowout preventer. In spite of the evidence primarily faulting BP, there is also equally relevant information associating other major companies to the incident; Transocean, for their employees’ miscommunication on the rig, as well as the Minerals Management Service (MMS), for their flawed ethics.

Transocean employees’ improper conduct and blunder was a significant factor in the obliteration of the Deepwater Horizon. The evidence disclosed by David Barstow and others of the New York Times establishes that Ms. Fleytas, a Transocean employee, was on the bridge when her computer console illustrated dangerously high levels of combustible gases in the surrounding environment. However, instead of triggering an alarm to notify the rig of the ongoing predicament, all she divulged to the populace of the Deepwater Horizon was that “we have a well-control situation” (“Final Hours”). This rendition of the article by NY Times exemplifies the irrational decision made by Transocean employee Andrea Fleytas. Neither did she follow the correct protocol nor did she have the ability to respect and adhere to basic rules and regulations. Transocean’s complacency led to numerous errors. In the event of an explosion or other issues on the rig, quick response time is necessary for the safety of the crew. Ultimately, inappropriate actions taken by Transocean employees doomed the Deepwater Horizon.

Subsequently, the MMS did not follow their own policy when it came to inspecting the Deepwater Horizon. One revelation by Huffington Post expresses that the MMS conducted sixteen fewer inspections onboard the Deepwater Horizon than required in their policy, while also turning a blind eye to hundreds of illicit drilling operations occurring on the Deepwater Horizon (“Deepwater Horizon Inspections”). The acknowledgment of this information reveals how the MMS did not take their inspections very seriously. The disaster could have been prevented if the MMS properly addressed whatever the issues they had with the Deepwater Horizon. Many pieces of the machinery on the Deepwater Horizon were either faulty or not functional; the crew was unable to stop the blowout. Overall, the Deepwater Horizon had many faults due to MMS’s apparent lack of safety procedures.

Although there is significant evidence pointing to many companies causing the Deepwater Horizon explosion, ample evidence places BP as the main culprit. Carl Hoffman of Popular Mechanics duly notes that BP did not have the proper equipment or technology to prevent a disaster at great depths (“Special Report”). While sources state that BP’s negligence towards deploying state-of-the-art technology and equipment led to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, behemoth companies, the likes of Transocean and Halliburton, also played significant roles as they were lax in terms of protocol and regulations. Transocean’s employees made many errors in responding to the blowout, thus leading to the sinking of the rig; Halliburton did not employ the precise cement to seal the Macondo Well. These were some of the main contributions to the destruction of the Deepwater Horizon (Goldenberg). After the analysis of this information, it can be determined that BP was not the only company that played a major role in the oil rig explosion. If Transocean’s employees had responded appropriately to the situation, then the disaster could have been prevented. If Halliburton was more careful and utilized the proper cement, the blowout could have been sealed efficiently and safely. In conclusion, BP, Transocean, Halliburton, and others made grave errors that escalated what was a regular issue for low-depth drilling.

Should BP have to bear primary accountability for the Deepwater Horizon tragedy? After deep scrutiny, it is apparent that several other major factors were responsible for the spill. To recap, crew members made erroneous decisions aboard the rig, most of which were not knowledgeable or rational, which resulted in a large-scale disaster which could have been prevented. The MMS did not prioritize safety by conducting a minimal amount of inspections, which allowed faulty machinery to remain on the rig. Transocean and Halliburton did not properly perform their duties, as both companies failed to utilize the right methods and equipment, resulting in many failures on board the Deepwater Horizon. Imagine a horrible disaster in which 200 million gallons of oil swiftly leaked into the ocean, which results in severe consequences for the environment. The adverse effects of this oil spill will last for generations. This nightmare is a reality due to various causes; one company should not have to receive full blame.



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