BP Oil Spill

A lot of the disasters arising in the entire world can sometimes be easily prevented. The question, therefore, is why wasn’t the disaster of the oil spill prevented? Oil can be viewed as one of a country’s richest mineral to be exploited. It would not be wrong to state that oil apparently exists in most rich nations. However, there appears to be various risk involved in the drilling of this precious mineral. The nation appears to be thirsty for oil; therefore, it takes risks by drilling this precious yet dangerous commodity in remote areas. The BP oil spill was perceived as one of the major accidental disaster in the history of the industry of petroleum. An oil spill has a prolonged impact on the environment.

It can be argued that the government played a role in the BP oil spill. Before the spill, the government set up regulations governing the drilling of oil. However, these regulations appeared not to be given significant importance. The government under the MMS (minerals management service) failed in its duty as a regulatory agency. Various regulatory agencies under the federal government also failed in their respective duties. BP emerged as a risk-taking company that needed to be put under strict observations. Among the mistakes made was that the MMS concluded that a blowout was highly unlikely hence sort to use the safety and environmental standards formed by the industry for safety purposes. However, the OCSLA lacked technology forcing mandate hence it was quite inevitable that there would be an absence of any incentive to develop and form new technology that would be seen as much safer. (Landau, 2011 )

Another regulation that was in place before the oil spill was the penalties and assurance bonds. This regulation was seen as a failure because, all along, the petroleum industry has worked in an environment where a lot of threats were made but with no enforcement. Moreover, the fines appear inadequate for instance a maximum penalty of up to $35,000 for a day. Because of the spill, different and various regulations went into effect. For instance, the MMS was reorganized and its responsibilities appeared to be divided between two agencies; the bureau of environmental enforcement and safety and the bureau of the management of ocean energy. The BSEE has also released a new set of rules in regard to the lessons learned from the disaster.

Another regulation is that a third party expert who is not an employee of the company appears required to conduct audits pertaining to offshore drill rigs. After the oil spill, there appeared to be major steps taken by the government. Among these steps are the president ordered stoppage in the release of more offshore leases until investigations are carried out as to whether more safety systems may be required. The government also released the secretaries of interior department and homeland security to assess the damage caused by the disaster.

The disaster of the BP oil spill cannot still be measured. However, the only thing that gives hope is that the country has decided to learn from this experience and therefore, the government started to put up the necessary safety measures to avoid recurrence of a similar situation.


Landau, E. ( 2011 ). Oil Spill!: Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Millbrook Press.

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