Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore by National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

By National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling

On April 20, 2010, the Macondo good blew out, costing the lives of eleven males, and starting a disaster that sank the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and spilled approximately five million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The spill disrupted a whole quarter s economic climate, broken fisheries and important habitats, and taken vividly to mild the dangers of deepwater drilling for oil and fuel the newest frontier within the nationwide strength offer. quickly after, President Barack Obama appointed a seven-member fee to enquire the catastrophe, learn its explanations and results, and suggest the activities essential to reduce such dangers sooner or later. The fee s file bargains the yank public and policymakers alike the fullest account to be had of what occurred within the Gulf and why, and proposes activities adjustments in corporation habit, reform of govt oversight, and investments in examine and know-how required as strikes ahead to fulfill the country s strength wishes.

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I wish that we could, to the bare minimum, have moved away from the location or something where we didn’t just have to sit there and review that many hours. ”184 Not until 8:13 that morning, when many boats were on the scene, did the Bankston get permission to set sail with the 99 survivors on board for Port Fourchon, Louisiana, the sprawling oil-supply depot that was its home base. The Coast Guard’s coordinated search had located no further crew—dead or alive. 185 BP’s Sims and Transocean’s Winslow, along with subsea engineers Mark Hay and Chris Pleasant, debarked to await the Max Chouest.

The response was overwhelming: in the historic March 1962 sale, 411 tracts, totaling nearly two million acres, were leased—more than in all previous sales combined. The sale opened up new areas off western Louisiana and Texas and extended the average depth of leases to 125 feet. 14 Drilling on that vast inventory of leases set off one of the greatest industrial booms the Gulf Coast had ever seen. By September 1963, nearly 90 drilling operations were in progress. Workers flocked from around the Gulf region to take high-paying jobs offshore or in the growing support centers of New Orleans, Morgan City, Lafayette, Beaumont, and Houston.

Many more challenges lay ahead as the marine environment imposed unique hazards on oil companies trying to adapt land-drilling methods offshore. They would have to squeeze complex drilling and production facilities onto small standing or floating platforms in a region exposed to hurricane-force winds and waves. High costs intensified pressures to find speedy solutions to problems and get the oil flowing. The remoteness of facilities and their space constraints amplified the perils of working under adverse conditions with dangerous equipment and combustible materials.

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