1 May 2014
Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill (A.K.A BP Oil Spill)
The Deep Water Horizon oil spill and its effects will be felt within the Gulf of Mexico region for years to come, if not decades. “In the months following the Deep water Horizon drilling rig explosion off the coast of Louisiana in April of 2010, it's estimated that almost five million barrels of oil spilled from the seabed and into the Gulf, making it the worst oil spill in history” . Now that the flow of oil has stopped, the multitude of the catastrophe is coming into view, and all the attention is turning to how things will turn out in the decisions within the court system. “The BP oil spill has already provoked the filing of thousands of lawsuits”. Workers and Businesses have had everything they worked for suffer or it was destroyed in Alabama, Texas, Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Individuals and families in the region worry mostly about the health issues that can be caused by the chemicals that have been used to clean up the oil.
It was an environmental disaster and a public relations worst nightmare for the oil company British Petroleum, who was the operator of the rig. The effects have been widespread, and are likely to be felt for years to come, not just by the businesses and communities in the immediate area of the spill, but by gas and oil companies all over the world. “The oil spill has caused a lot of attention, and provoked a review of, the regulations, safety standards and the laws that pertain to oil exploration and extraction and environmental liability, not only in the US but around the world”. The oil spill may also result in changes in the way oil and gas companies operate their businesses, to contain liabilities and deal with increased costs, as well as taking measures to restore their destroyed public image and to make sure that an incident like this will never happen again.
When British Petroleum was trying to stop the spill, an environmental rescue and clean-up action was immediately organized to save the beaches, wildlife, and habitats in the Gulf of Mexico . “At the same time the US government executed a moratorium on deep-sea oil drilling and legal actions against the British Petroleum company from business owners affected by the oil spill along the Gulf Coast were set in motion, along with the US government's own criminal and civil investigation into the oil spill”. By the time the oil was finally stopped in September of 2010, a large discussion was taking place, scrutinizing the gas and oil industry, as well as the deep sea oil drilling that had already taken place. “Governments that were producing oil, environmental groups, and the global press were very involved in the issues that surrounded the oil spill and its lessons, causes, and costs”.
Investigation into the industry's production, commercial stimulus and exploration methods have all since increased. “The US government began a prolonged civil and criminal investigation into the oil spill and began reviewing the regulations and the laws that govern environmental standards, laws, and the health and safety on oil rigs and with any type of oil drilling operation”. “In other countries around the world, there was also a lot of discussion going on about the potential moratorium on drilling and a lot of debate about amending legislation that governed environmental compliance, as well as health and safety in gas and oil exploration”.
In March of 2010 before the spill actually happened, the US government had plans to announce the expansion of its offshore drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico, to increase the production of domestic oil. “However, after the spill, and while BP was trying to plug the well, the US government produced a report called the 30-day safety report to the President. The report included meetings with industry experts on their safety recommendations for deep-sea drilling. After a follow-up of