Essay about British Pertroleum

Submitted By mattywarren7
Words: 835
Pages: 4

British Petroleum
British Petroleum (BP) is a multi-national oil and gas corporation based out of London, England that, in 2013, ranked fifth in revenue among the world’s largest international corporations. They currently operate in over 80 countries worldwide, with operations producing approximately 3.9 billion barrels of oil annually, controlling around 18,000 gas sites and employing nearly 84,000 people. In 2013, these stats led to BP walking away with an astonishing annual revenue of $24 billion. There is no doubt, from BP’s clear domination of the global oil market, that their business has a focused intention of creating and maintaining massive profit. But with that being said, society demands that such businesses be accepting of the law of the land, and that actions taken by corporations should in no way do harm to society or the environment. In recent years, BP has suffered from the exposure of numerous ethical crimes committed on their part, and the global outrage following the discovery of unsafe working conditions and environmental pollution in regards to the Deepwater Horizon oil spills and Prudhoe Bays has put BP in a vulnerable – and arguably unsustainable – position in the worldwide market. In April of 2010, BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling platform on the Gulf of Mexico experienced a massive explosion. This explosion was the cause of the world’s largest oil spill to occur in the history of the oil industry. Consequently, 11 crewmembers on the rig were killed and 17 others suffered serious injuries. Over the course of the five months following the explosion, 150,000 barrels of crude oil were spewed into the sea, contaminating 68,000 square miles of the Gulf Sea. Both government and non-government agents held investigations, and results showed that unethical practices within BP caused the disaster. BP was even advised by Halliburton, a highly regarded advisor company in the oil industry, not to use the “risky” drilling platform. BP ignored the advice. The environmental catastrophe created by the use of this platform caused major hardship in the surrounding area, negatively affecting both the tourism and seafood industries. Tourism, specifically, took a major hit as people avoided the oil-drenched beaches. Consequently, hotels, restaurants and other tourist hot-spots in the polluted region took a huge hit. In terms of environmental damage, the oil spill caused mutation and mass death of fish in the polluted waters. Many workers in the fishing industry found themselves out of a job. Meanwhile, Tony Hayward, CEO of BP at the time of the crisis and relief efforts, could be found lounging on his yacht. This lack of concern only highlights the underlying issues in the industry that spurred the environmental disaster on the Gulf. In another horrifying incident in February of 2006, a pipeline belonging to BP exploded in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. The explosion released one million litres of crude oil into the tundra of Northern Alaska, and the entire situation was not even discovered until five full days after the explosion. The disaster was a result of corrosion in the pipeline, which the BP headquarters received notification and warning of two years prior. Evidentially, not a single person aware of this issue took initiative to fix the problem before disaster struck. In order to cover the cost of cleaning up in Alaska, BP raised the price of oil $2 per barrel. The facility in Prudhoe Bay was