Florida is known for its beautiful landscapes and even more beautiful beaches. Lots of people see it as a wonderful place to go for vacation, but what if something was to happen to these beautiful places. What happens to these places when something like the BP Deep Water Horizon oil spill occurs? The spill created many problems and hurt a lot of living things both under the sea and over the costal lands. Why did the spill happen, what were the results from it, and how was justice served?
The spill could have happened hundreds of ways but what really happened? Drilling is extremely dangerous on all levels, “Oil and gas are often found far away or under the sea” and the fresh content of the well can be dangerous and cannot be transported until the crude oil and gas is separated (“How do we”). When drilling workers monitor the drill-pipe pressure to make sure there is not a kick in the system, which can lead to deadly occurrences like explosions (128). Drill-pipe pressure can go up or down because of a little” harmless thing”, but any unexplained change in pressure should always be checked (128). No matter what, “The crew should shut down the pumps and monitor the well to confirm it is static; if they are unable to do so, they should shut in the well until the source of the readings can be determined”(128).
A fairly routine test was being done and the pumps were shut down for 6 minutes, but in those six minutes drill-pipe pressure went up by 250 psi when it should have stayed constant or gone down (130). No one noticed the changes and the pumps were turned back on. About 15 minutes later a significant pressure difference was noticed between the drill pipe and the kill line; the pumps were turned off, but the pipe pressure increase by 550 in about 5 minutes (130-131). It soon resulted in a kick, and drilling mud began spewing out.
The first action taken was to send it through the diverter system which should have solved the issue, but more complications started happening. It ended up being too much of a load on the system the “rig blew up 50 miles off Louisiana in April” (“In Gulf Spill”). A witness description to the event was likened to “a 550-ton freight train hitting the rig floor” (132). With so much oil and gas together, “Ignition and explosion were all but inevitable” (132). The Tampa Bay Times refers to Assistant Attorney General Breuer statement on the tragedy; he says it “resulted from BP’s culture of privileging profit over prudence” (“In Gulf Spill”). The causes of the explosion were due to tiny overlooked missteps.
The results of the oil spill were new legislation and lots of problems. In regards to safety, “The Obama administration ordered a number of safety and regulatory reforms in response to the deaths of 11 workers on the Deepwater rig and the release of more than 200 million gallons of oil” (“Oil Spill Dangers”). The reforms list some of the measures taken to make rig drilling safer. These measures include demonstrating “they can deal with a worst-case blowout,” “Wells and casings must have stronger designs,” and “require that rig operators be better trained” (“Oil Spill Dangers”).
Some of the problems that came along with the spill would possibly scar you for life if you witnessed them first hand. The spill affected many coastal states and even after the well was capped in July, “it was still washing ashore in some parts of Louisiana” (“Local Scientists look”). There were a lot of devastating effects that came from the spill. One of the biggest effects was “the spill caused the closure of 88,000 square miles of federal waters to fishing” (“Oil Spill Dangers”). Hundreds of miles of shore needed cleaning, tar mats are still being found today, lots of dead dolphins washed up, and findings of diseased fish and dead deep-sea coral (“Oil Spill Dangers”). Could you imagine being a child and instead of a beautiful beach, you see a bunch of dead dolphins? Lots of bad things happened but some good things to.
What happened to BP after causing so many problems?
The Deep Horizon oil spill happened over 8 years ago, but it still haunts us. The rig blew up, which killed 11 men, and caused oil to go everywhere; It caused huge environmental problems, including a horde of dead dolphins on beaches, and BP paid “the biggest criminal fine in U.S. history” (“In Gulf Spill”). This spill was a bad thing and brought many pains, but it did help ensure a safer journey onwards with new legislation. I hope today’s rig corporations and workers will take this event into consideration, and that they will pay more attention to the little details.
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