Drowning in Oil: BP & the Reckless Pursuit of Profit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Drowning in Oil: BP & the Reckless Pursuit of Profit I thought this was a very good read and a good overview of the culture of BP Having spent 34 years on the global oil services industry I found a few technical errors in the reading that lowered my confidence in the rest of the book For example, the author completely mutilated page 159, all beginning with the statement that oil was heavier than water Unfortunately that is a critical mistake when discussing the technical nature of the blowout The author also mutilated topics on casing and perf I thought this was a very good read and a good overview of the culture of BP Having spent 34 years on the global oil services industry I found a few technical errors in the reading that lowered my confidence in the rest of the book For example, the author completely mutilated page 159, all beginning with the statement that oil was heavier than water Unfortunately that is a critical mistake when discussing the technical nature of the blowout The author also mutilated topics on casing and perforating Still a good read and I am assuming he wasaccurate on the non technical side of the book One and a half thumb up Shocking description of how such big corporations are run. The definitive account of how BP s win at all costs culture led to this era s greatest industrial catastrophe A carefully and powerfully written story Financial Times When an author uses a loaded word like reckless in a book s title, the burden of proof is high Steffy meets the burden by demonstrating that corporate behemoth BP formerly British Petroleum could have prevented thedeaths on April aboard the Deepwater Horizon The deaths and the gigantic oil spill following the sinking of Deepwater Horizon will surely become a landmark of corporate ineptness and greed for the remainder of human history, thanks in part to Steffy s remarkable account San Antonio Express News Steffy has produced a fascinating, gripping, revealing account The book details events aboard the Deepwater Horizon in April ofto start, but it digs deeper into what is revealed as a culture of cost cutting boiling over within BP Steffy documents years of incidents and poor management decisions, detailing the rise of key characters like John Browne and Tony Hayward alongside riveting outlines of horrifying events in Texas City and at other BP locations The book reads like fiction at times, with the author s heavily detailed accounts of explosions and conversations creating vivid, nearly fantastical images The tragic history of BP is all too real, though, as the lost lives and environmental damage certainly attest to Steffy is a thorough, straightforward author His concerns largely lie with the loss of life and the general culture of cost cutting of BP, painting an apt and terrifying picture of rampant, steady, costly neglect Seattle Post Intelligencer Steffy provides valuable insight and crucial corporate context in explaining how so much oil ended up in the Gulf of Mexico BusinessWeek Steffy s investigations reveal a corporate culture of cost cutting initiatives that put profits ahead of workers lives and the environment, with repeated safety violations and an abysmal accident history Steffy details how, in the context of BP s record, the disaster was just part of a pattern of poor decision making in the relentless pursuit by BP to become the largest and most profitable oil company in the world Booklist About the BookAs night settled on April a series of explosions rocked Deepwater Horizon, the immense semisubmersible drilling platform leased by British Petroleum, locatedmiles off the Louisiana coast The ensuing inferno claimedlives, and it would rage uncontained for two days, until its wreckage sank to a final resting place nearly a mile beneath the waves On the ocean floor, the unit s wellhead erupted Over the next ten weeks, as repeated attempts to cap the geyser failed, an estimatedmillion gallons of oil the equivalent ofExxon Valdez spills spewed into the Gulf of Mexico, eventually lapping up on beaches as far away as Florida Drowning in Oil, by award winning Houston Chronicle business reporter and columnist Loren Steffy considered by many to be the writer with the best access to the story is an unprecedented and gripping narrative of this catastrophe and how BP s winner take all business culture made it all but inevitableThrough never before published interviews with BP executives and employees, environmental experts, and oil industry insiders, Steffy takes us behind the scenes ofyears of BP corporate history Beginning with the conglomerate s early gambits in the Middle East to its recent ascent among energy titans, Steff unearths the roots of the Gulf oil spill in the unwritten bargain between oil producers and consumers, whose insatiable appetites drive the search for new supplies faster, farther, and deeperBeyond this, the Deepwater Horizon disaster took place after a history of cost cutting in pursuit of profits, particularly under the guidance of its two most recent ex CEOs, John Browne and Anthony HaywardExhaustively researched and documented, Drowning in Oil is the first in depth examination of how a lack of corporate responsibility and government oversight led to the biggest offshore oil spill in US history It is an objective, no punches pulled account of the energy industry its environmental impact and the intense competition among stakeholders in today s oil marketsThis book puts all the pieces together, offering a definitive account of BP s pursuit of outsized profits as the industrial world awakens to the grim realities of Peak Oil They fumbled around the darkened room and found an instruction manual By flashlight, they read the starting procedures They were doing everything right After five or six futile tries, they gave up and headed back toward the bridge Back on the bridge, alarms were shrieking and the captain knew they were running out of time The subsea engineer had hit the emergency disconnect for the well, and although the control panel showed the rig should be free, it wasn t The hydraulics were dead Fire continued to shoot from the top of the derrick The rig had no power, and without power, it had no pumps for the firefighting equipment, no way to shut off the flow of gas from the well, and no way to disconnect the rig from the flaming umbilical that had it tethered to the wellhead from Drowning in Oil History of BP and the acquisition of Standard Oil Includes the accidents by the company and the names of the lives lost. The book I read was Drowning in Oil by Loren C Steffy This is a nonfiction book that not only details the Deepwater Horizon accident known as the Gulf Oil Spill , but also the events leading up to it It goes over the very beginning of the company, and details previous accidents that were BP s fault, such as the Texas City Refinery explosion in 2005 However its main focus is on the Deepwater Horizon, and the causes of the disaster This was an informative book, although it could be dry at ti The book I read was Drowning in Oil by Loren C Steffy This is a nonfiction book that not only details the Deepwater Horizon accident known as the Gulf Oil Spill , but also the events leading up to it It goes over the very beginning of the company, and details previous accidents that were BP s fault, such as the Texas City Refinery explosion in 2005 However its main focus is on the Deepwater Horizon, and the causes of the disaster This was an informative book, although it could be dry at times I enjoyed reading it.As this was a nonfiction book, the characters were real people affected by this disaster When the author would name a person, for example a rig worker, she would state their appearance along with their personality if possible If there was a conversation between two people it would not appear in quotations like in fiction books, or some nonfiction books The author would state what their conversations were about or probably about without quotations The plot briefly began with the initial part of the disaster, with the Deepwater Horizon exploding in the Gulf of Mexico It then details the origins of BP, starting from its founding and eventually ending with the aftermath of the disaster in 2011 It moves at a perfect pace when talking about the history of the company It slows down when it starts talking about former CEO s like John Browne, and Tony Hayward The book also goes slow and goes in detail about two disasters, the Texas City Refinery explosion in 2005, and the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010 Since these two disasters caused major repercussions for BP, it makes sense that it goes in details for the Texas City explosion and the Deepwater Horizon accident since the book is about it.The author wrote in a summary perspective for most of the parts of the book When the book would detail a disaster the author wrote almost from a third person point of view for the people involved In one part of the book the author was describing the different parts of a drilling rig such as the blowout preventer , and how it works The author went into detail with it, but not too much where it would get confusing.From the beginning of this book it is clear that it is not pro BP The author was trying to determine the cause of the Deepwater Horizon accident It was found to be a common cost cutting measure that has caused not only the Gulf Oil Spill, but accidents to several other companies I would recommend this book to people who like reading non fiction books about disasters Good book, felt like each chapter ended with a little less detail than I wanted. Don t let the corny name fool you, this book provides an excellent analysis of BP s corporate culture under former CEO John Browne and how that culture culminated in the explosion at BP s Texas City refinery, BP s pipeline spill in Alaska, and the blowout of the Macando well Browne emphasized cost cutting above all else, which resulted in a neglect of proper safety procedures and a decline in BP s engineering capability I enjoyed this book because the author incorporated biographical elements Don t let the corny name fool you, this book provides an excellent analysis of BP s corporate culture under former CEO John Browne and how that culture culminated in the explosion at BP s Texas City refinery, BP s pipeline spill in Alaska, and the blowout of the Macando well Browne emphasized cost cutting above all else, which resulted in a neglect of proper safety procedures and a decline in BP s engineering capability I enjoyed this book because the author incorporated biographical elements of John Brown and Tony Hayward both former CEOs , an overview of the history of BP as the Anglo Iranian Oil Company, and the ultimate transformation of BP under John Browne in a global power with a reputation for tight budgets The author also dives into the details behind many of BP s questionable operations, with particular emphasis on the Macando well and Deepwater Horizon explosion.I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the oil and gas industry, learningabout BP s 2010 Gulf oil spill, and anyone looking for an example of how a poor corporate culture can implode a successful company Loren Steffy s Drowning in Oil, published by McGraw Hill is a historical look at the rise of BP and the other major oil companies and their endless pursuit of profits It takes an objective look at the BP culture first created by John Browne and then perpetuated by Anthony Hayward, and how this culture of profit driven decision making led to such an unsafe work environment that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was bound to happen It also takes a look at the lack of proper oversight on the part o Loren Steffy s Drowning in Oil, published by McGraw Hill is a historical look at the rise of BP and the other major oil companies and their endless pursuit of profits It takes an objective look at the BP culture first created by John Browne and then perpetuated by Anthony Hayward, and how this culture of profit driven decision making led to such an unsafe work environment that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was bound to happen It also takes a look at the lack of proper oversight on the part of the various US government agencies that were supposed to keep the public, the employees and the environment safe.Read teh rest of my review at While this book looked at BP S many failings I feel it left Transocean the drilling contractor off the hook As somebody who works on a drilling rig I have some very serious questions about the failure of numerous safety systems on transoceans rig The author has chose to focus almost soley on BP and gloss over the failings of other parties Transocean has a similar goal budget driven operational practise as BP While the fact that the well kicked back may well be BP s cut cost design s fault t While this book looked at BP S many failings I feel it left Transocean the drilling contractor off the hook As somebody who works on a drilling rig I have some very serious questions about the failure of numerous safety systems on transoceans rig The author has chose to focus almost soley on BP and gloss over the failings of other parties Transocean has a similar goal budget driven operational practise as BP While the fact that the well kicked back may well be BP s cut cost design s fault the fact they lost control of the well and had a blow out is down to Transoceans equipment failure and personnel operating it.The author is scathing of the Baker report into the texas refinery fire for being to narrow focused and not looking at the wider picture I would say he is guilty of similar with this book Drowning in Oil was incredibly interesting and well written I found it very informative without ever being dry Steffy s knowledge and background in the industry made him the perfect person to write this book His experience as a journalist paid off with absolutely stellar descriptions I ve never read a non fiction that made you feel as if you were in the middle of the action the way this one did.I also felt like the writing remained non judgmental, in spite of being clear about who was to bla Drowning in Oil was incredibly interesting and well written I found it very informative without ever being dry Steffy s knowledge and background in the industry made him the perfect person to write this book His experience as a journalist paid off with absolutely stellar descriptions I ve never read a non fiction that made you feel as if you were in the middle of the action the way this one did.I also felt like the writing remained non judgmental, in spite of being clear about who was to blame for the many accidents BP has suffered over the years An impressive feat.I picked this up because I wanted to hearabout the Deepwater Horizon fiasco, but I ended up learning quite a bit about the oil industry, the government agencies that control it, and especially about BP Steffy made corporate history riveting