Deep Sh…Oil

Deepwater Horizon - 40 days on
What can we learn from the BP fiasco in the Gulf of Mexico?

Plenty hopefully. This is mankind at their worst, most arrogant, most fallible and most inadequate.

The fact this has even happened illustrates we don’t learn well at all.

Where is risk management?

Who was asking What if?

Who wasn’t listening?

What didn’t they learn from Chernobyl, Bhopal , Kader Toy Factory Fire , etc.

The fact this hasn’t been remedied illustrates several things:

Genius is no solution. BP must be paying and getting only the brightest employees at its upper levels. Clearly genius and the many, many bright sparks outside the company, are not providing the solution.

This is not a BP problem. This is an industry problem. If anyone whatsoever had a contingency for such an event (a truly workable one I mean) then wouldn’t we have seen it?

So it seems reasonable to conclude that not only has BP been caught out, but all the other oil companies have been just a touch lucky. Certainly that is no great comfort.

Without wanting to be Chicken Licken, what other industries have their own version of Deepwater Horizon awaiting them?

It would be highly unlikely to translate to something of the same magnitude, but as leaders we need to be looking one more time and seeing what time bombs we have left ticking – be they one life or an ecosystem.

Have we listened hard enough to what could happen?

Do we really know how to address the worst possible scenario?

If we can’t think of viable solutions should we continue to operate?

What is ethical?

Where is the line?

Make my day. Go and check one more time. Ask the hard questions. The alternative is not acceptable.

Do I think BP should go?

My emotion says yes. My realist says no, but this has to be a lesson learnt well

…and we need to learn with them.

5 Replies to “Deep Sh…Oil”

  1. I can’t help thinking that “we” as a species are pretty damn good at achieveing our goals and objectives. Kennedy said we’re going to the moon…and we went. I mean, just look at what we’ve mastered. Flight, communication, power. We have solved amazing medical challenges too! We can do some very cool stuff. So it goes with companies as well. The problem is maybe, just maybe…..we are looking the wrong way and asking the wrong questions to get the answers we need!
    What If ?

  2. Seems odd that everyone seems to forget that it was an AMERICAN firms work that failed. Yet the company that is held to blaim is BP.

    1. Thanks Derek. I’m not being anti-British, however BP has to take accountability for the fact it’s process failed – they appointed the contractor. Who did the work is of little consequence. Cheers Richard

  3. Why did Goldman Sachs sell 44% of its investment in BP on March 31st, 2010, 20 days before the deepwater oil rig explosion took place in the Gulf of Mexico? Lucky move? Click on my name for the official data from March 31st.

    1. Thanks for contributing Austin. I always love a twist in the tail. I appreciate the question you raise. Thank you, Richard

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