Investigation of an example of a failure of responsible management – Case Study Example

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This embodies the failure in a management system that is so money and profit oriented that it seemed ready and actually jeopardized the lives and livelihoods of millions not to mention the colossal damage to the environment (Mancuso, Alijani & Kwun 2011, p. 72). Prior to the leak, a breach of the cements seals at the bottom of the well as noted, there was an increased pressure which was weakening the cement and which was the first warning that an explosion was likely to happen in action was not taken.

Afterwards, during the post crisis analysis and trials some of the former employees admitted that the breach had been detected but trivialised and therefore ignored. BP had several early warnings that their machines and drilling equipment may be unable to handle the pressure from the well; in response to these, the firm had initiated preventive measures aimed at eliminating the possibilities of an explosion and consequent spill. It installed several centralizers in the central positions of the well casing to in response to the rapid buildup in pressure. Nonetheless, despite this they failed to install a float shoe at the bottom of the casing which would have provided periodic information on the validity and integrity of the valve as well as effectively measure and monitor the pressure levels in a way that could have made it possible for the spill to be contained before it caused the magnitude of damage it did.

Had the float shoe been in place, management would have been able to automatically activate a barrier in the case of an emergency such as the one that occurred through the prevention of an automatic flow of hydrocarbons into the system and enhances the level of mitigating action that could be taken (Khan, 2010).

At the end of the day, it is evident that vulnerabilities and human error resulting from the management’s failure to be vigilant were key causative agents of the event which had the firms leadership paid more attention to early warnings and invested more on prevention could have been avoided. Another way through which the stark incompetence of management contributed to the crisis was the fact that the rig crew recorded the wrong pressure readings and this were never double checked.

This were among the main justification for ignoring the Macondo well, this in part was a fail both by the firm and the government body carrying out the inspection. As can be easily imagined, the consequences of the spill were grave, the first victims of the crisis were the 11 man crew on the Transocean rig who were reported missing after the explosion that accompanied the leak and started the fires after 2 days of search and rescue, and they were assumed dead (Aldy 2011, p. 1795).

References

Aldy, J.E. 2011, "Real-Time Economic Analysis and Policy Development During the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill", Vanderbilt Law Review, vol. 64, no. 6, pp. 1793-1817.

Alijani, G.S., Mancuso, L.C., Omar, A. & Ordogne, N.G. 2012, "A GUMBO OF CATASTROPHIC EFFECTS - THE EFFECTS OF THE BP OIL SPILL MEASURED DURING THE OIL SPILL AND SIX MONTHS AFTER THE OIL SPILL ON THREE TOWNS IN SOUTH LOUISIANA", The Entrepreneurial Executive, vol. 17, pp. 1-11.

Biello, D. 2011. How Did the BP Oil Spill Affect Gulf Coast Wildlife? Scientific American. Available at: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-did-bp-oil-spill-affect-gulf-of-mexico-wildlife-and-ecosystems/

Coombs, W (2009) Conceptualizing Crisis Communication. In R. L. Heath, & H.D. O’Hair (Eds.). Handbook of crisis and risk communication. (pp. 100-119). New York: Routledge

De Wolf, D and Mohamed M. 2010. Crisis communication failures: The BP Case Study. International Journal of Advances in Management and Economics. Vol.2 | Issue 2|48-56

Ferrara, E. 2011, "Review: Blowout in the Gulf: The BP Oil Spill Disaster and the Future of Energy in America", Electronic Green Journal, , no. 32, pp. 1-2.

Khan, A. 2010, Oil dispersants effects still largely a mystery; Scientists arent sure how much good, or bad, massive use did in BPs gulf spill, Los Angeles times. Available at: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/04/science/la-sci-dispersants-20100905

Mancuso, L.C., Alijani, G.S. & Kwun, O. 2011, "THE EFFECTS OF THE BP OIL SPILL AND HURRICANE KATRINA ON BUSINESES IN SOUTH LOUISIANA", The Entrepreneurial Executive, vol. 16, pp. 71-79.

Rushe, D. (Tuesday 26 February 2013). Deepwater oil spill a classic failure of BP management, court hears. The Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/feb/26/deepwater-oil-spill-trial-bp-failure

Tavakoli, J. 2011, "Blowout in the Gulf: the BP oil spill disaster and the future of energy in America", Choice, vol. 48, no. 10, pp. 1949.

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