Understanding business ethics- BP and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill

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Unit 37 P4/M3 – Understanding Business Ethics                         06/12/2011

BP Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico

BP (British Petroleum) is a global  and  company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the fourth-largest energy company in the world measured by revenues and one of the six oil and gas "".  It is  and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including  and , , , ,  and . It also has major  activities, including in , ,  and .

BP operates in over 80 countries, produces around 3.8 million  per day and has 22,400 service stations worldwide. Its largest division is BP America, which is the biggest producer of oil and gas in the United States and is headquartered in , Texas.

Throughout this report I will be discussing the BP oil spill off the Gulf of Mexico this was a global disaster in 2010 it was an oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. The rig was owned by an offshore drilling contractor, Transocean, and was leased to BP for exploration of the Macondo Prospect, an oil field off the coast of Louisiana. Due to extensive damage to the wellhead and the depth at which the damage occurred, BP was unable to stop the flow of oil for several months. Estimates place the total volume of oil released at over 200 million gallons.

‘On the evening of April 20, 2010, a gas release and subsequent explosion occurred on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig working on the Macondo exploration well for BP in the Gulf of Mexico’

(Source: http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle800.do?categoryId=9036575&contentId=7067541) 

The explosion led to a fire which burnt for 36 hours before the rig sank, and hydrocarbons leaked into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days before the well was closed and sealed by experts.
                                                                                                                                                                                                   The accident involved a loss of control over the pressure in the well followed by the failure of the well's blowout preventer, a specialised valve designed to maintain consistent conditions. After the initial explosions, the blowout preventer’s emergency functions failed to seal the well, allowing the leak to occur.  Eleven people lost their lives as a result and others were injured.

                                                                                                                                                                                                     The United States placed liability with BP, and required the company to pay clean-up and economic impact costs. They have acted to take responsibility for the clean-up, to respond swiftly to compensate people affected by the impact of the accident, and to look after the health, safety and welfare of the large number of residents and people who helped respond to the spill. As of 31 December 2010, BP had spent $17.7 billion on their response activities. Throughout, they have sought to work closely with government, local residents, shareholders, employees, the wider industry and the media.

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‘We try to work in ways that will benefit the communities and habitats where we do business – and earn the world’s respect’

Support BP offer communities and ways they preserve the environment.

BP have a long-term commitment to the communities they work within, because the process of finding oil and being able to actually extract it is an in depth and time consuming process. They recognise a responsibility to create more than quick revenues from the investments. Whatever they do, wherever they do it, they always strive to preserve and improve the surrounding ...

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