The BP/Deep Horizon event in the Gulf of Mexico


The event is about an explosion that occurred on 20th April 2011 at the Gulf of Mexico in the US. A rig that was being operated by BP was submerged into the waters in order to dig a well for pumping oil from the sea ground. All constructional activities had been completed apart from the final cementing that was to be done after which the well had to be left dormant for sometime before being activated as an oil producer.

After the negative and positive test pumping were done, the project was promising but at the final cementing stage, methane gas escaped through the pipes and finally exploded. This environmental disaster can be termed as the worst that has ever been experienced considering all the submarine projects for oil production more so, those run by BP.

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In this accident, 11 workers perished and 17 of them were seriously injured. The oil continued to spill into the surrounding for a period of two to three months even after capping of the well bore was done. Millions of gallons of crude oil spill were experienced and this was expected to continue even in the future (Metapower 2).

With the experience BP had on such projects and its success in exploitation of renewable energy sources, the company did not put into place the right measures in order to take care of any disaster that could have been expected to take place during both the constructional and operational phases of the project.

This was a big project that was expected to have adverse effects on the environment and thus required an Environmental impact assessment process which could have issued a plan with the mitigative measures in order to reduce or cater for any environmental accident that could have been experienced.

Ignorance of the leakage from the rig reported earlier by an engineer also contributed to the failure. The project was autonomous and it required a lot of money which made BP to use shortcuts not considering the effects that this could cost (Pride and Ferrell 35).

Environmental studies concerns all the negative and positive impacts a project can have on its surrounding. Measures are often provided for all projects in order to reduce or completely curb the negative impacts.

Considering the fact that the rig was a submersible one and that a well was to be drilled in the waters, a lot of disturbance in the aquatic ecosystem was to be experienced causing either death or migration of the organisms eventually leading to an alteration in the ecosystem. Both noise pollution by the operating rig and air pollution from the smoke produced by the machine was guaranteed.

Apart from these, spilled oil had lots of negative impacts on the wildlife and the neighboring ecosystems, a number of natural processes such as breeding and mating was affected by the construction activities and even by the fast spreading oil. Water was also polluted by the oils and the dead organisms resulting from explosion thus rendering it unsafe for consumption and other production activities (National Parks Conservation Association 10).

Different publications exist with information concerning this event. Sources used in this work have almost the same information relating to this event apart from the duration of the oil spill, amount of oil spilt and the exact time for explosion. The sources have 2 to 3 days of spill with 200, 201 and 206 gallons of spilt crude oil after the explosion.


The disaster had a lot of negative impacts on the environment which could have been contained if the right measures and procedures were put in place. Simplified design for the well due to the high cost of construction for the right type of well was also a contributing factor. It is therefore, important to consider all these factors in the future when dealing with such a risk project.

Works cited

Metapowe. Safety at new depths-is Gulf protected against the next oil spill? N.d. 19 April, 2011

National Parks Conservation Association. National parks. National Parks, 84.4(2010).

Pride, William and Ferrell, Chris. Marketing. Wodsworth: Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.


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