The Macondo Oil Field Disaster
Michael C. Lynch
Strategic Energy & Economic Research, Inc., Box 7, Amherst, MA 01002, USA
TheMacondo oil rig explosion and subsequent oil spill was the worst disaster in the US offshore oil industry since 1969. Although some worried that it reflected the greater challenges of deepwater drilling for which the industry was not prepared, investigations have shown that a variety of decisions made, primarily during the drilling of the well, caused the blowout and explosion. Apparently, a corporate culture of cost cutting led to many of these decisions, and it suggests that human failures, both in senior levels where culture is set, and at the lower levels where it affects operations, are the primary challenges that need to be overcome to reduce the likelihood of future disaster.
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