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Ethical Problems Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Management Essay

This report will include one of the recent ethical problems, Deepwater Horizon oil spill and some case studies. Nature of the mishap and decisions considered by parties engaged will be analyzed and discussed in line with the relevant ethical rules.

1. 2 Objective

There are several goals to be met in this task. Firstly, we would like to investigate the look process and costing things to consider of the well design, to see if protection was a significant tradeoff, and possible honest concerns involved. Subsequently, we'd also like to probe into how basic safety is communicated throughout the company's chain of command word and the culture of the business towards security, and discuss possible honest concerns engaged too. Thirdly, we would like to discuss more about the company, BP, itself and make comparisons with earlier accidents that that they had. Lastly, we would like to go over several recommendations which might be useful in future instances.

1. 3 Ethical Concerns

In this project, several theory of ethics will be utilized to discuss the honest concerns involved. They are defined here first for clarity, and in following chapters they will be applied to the problem of matter.

1. 3. 1 Reversibility

1. 3. 2 Act Utilitarianism

Act utilitarianism tries to ascertain which cause of action produces maximum pleasure or

the biggest benefits as implications. Rules must be busted, if necessary, to do this.

1. 3. 3 Guideline Utilitarianism

Rule Utilitarianism asks two questions. What basic rule would one be pursuing? And does indeed it

maximize benefits by following this rule?

1. 3. 3 Cost Advantage Analysis

It is often found in anatomist; especially in large jobs. This technique reduces every factor and

consequence of any action into its value and whether the action is appropriate or not is

based on the cost/profit proportion. However, for our research study, using the cost-benefit evaluation is not

appropriate since it entails individuals lives. Hence other techniques will be utilized to judge the

two case studies.

1. 3. 4 Risk Benefit Analysis

Risk-benefit examination is the comparability of the risk of a situation to its related benefits. Exposure to personal risk is regarded as a normal aspect of everyday routine. We accept a certain degree of risk in our lives as necessary to achieve certain benefits.

1. 3. 5 Executive Code of Ethics

In this research study, we will introduce certain code of ethics, where certain relevant clauses will be extracted to be applied to the moral evaluation. Below are a set of ethics which this paper will take reference point from:

ASME Fundamental Canons

BP's own Code of Conduct

IEEE Code of Ethics

Instituto De Consejeros- Administradores (Spain), Code of Ethics for Companies,

NSPE Code of Ethics

1. 3. 6 Universalizability

This is a general principal which needs consistency in our moral thinking. We are using

Reversibility, a particular case of universalizability in our research study. Reversibility means that one

who holds the reversibility will assess an action whether he's at the providing or the obtaining end.

1. 3. 7 Admiration for Individuals

This approach keeps the rights of individuals of groupings paramount to any overall benefits that

would be triggered by an action. The highest right of a person is his/her own life.

1. 4 Conflicts of Interest

Conflict appealing is a turmoil between one's responsibility to the public good and one's self-interest. The purpose of this section is to point out the possible conflicts of interest between the various parties included, namely BP Engineers, BP management and Halliburton. Knowing these conflicts of interest will give better understanding why and the way the parties engaged make decisions. In addition, it helps to take a look at whether the celebrations engaged are biased and are neglecting ethics at the expense of personal interest.

According to the North american Modern culture of Civil Engineers Code of Ethics Canon 1. d, 1. e, "Engineers should seek opportunities to be of constructive service in civic affairs and be employed by the improvement of the safety, health insurance and well-being of the areas, and the security of the surroundings through the practice of lasting development. " and "Engineers should be focused on improving the environment by adherence to the principles of sustainable development to be able to enhance the quality of life of the general public. "

As described in the aforementioned code of thics, BP, as well as Halliburton, have obligation to preserve the environment health and well-being of these community, which in cases like this identifies people living close by and those whose business are afflicted.

1. 4. 1 General public Interest

1. 4. 1. 1 Environment Health

Oil spills present high risk for enormous injury to marine life and ecosystem. Inside the short-run, toxic and smothering oil waste instigates mass mortality and contamination of seafood and other food species. And, in the long-run, it causes long-term ecological effects that may be even damaging to the surroundings, compared to its short-run effect. Oil waste poisons the hypersensitive marine substrate, on which seafood and sea creatures feed on. This will likely interrupt the meals string of the sea ecosystem, and it is hamrful to the presence of certain varieties in the marine life. Furthermore, other animals including mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds that are in or near the ocean, will also be poisoned by oil waste and could lose their source of food.

1. 4. 1. 2 Community Interest

Oil spills can also have devastating short-term and long-term effects on the neighborhood economy and world. Oil waste materials invades and pollutes the coastal areas, which would drive tourists away from these places. People who are depending on recreational sights and related facilities that contain been developed for sportfishing, scuba diving, going swimming, character parks and preserves, beaches, and other citizen and places of interest, for income source will lose their means of living. These people can not only lose their source of income, but the property principles for cover will tend to decrease, regional business activity declines, inhibitting future investment around the area.

(Commercial fishing enterprises may be afflicted forever. Coastal areas are usually thickly populated and get many outdoor recreation and related facilities which may have been developed for fishing, scuba diving, swimming, nature parks and preserves, beaches, and other resident and places of interest. Oil waste that invades and pollutes these areas and negatively affects individual activities can have devastating and long-term results on the neighborhood economy and culture. Property beliefs for housing have a tendency to decrease, regional business activity declines, and future investment is high-risk. Thus, the three parties involved in the oil spill are obligated to take into account of this aforementioned general public well-being. )

1. 4. 2 Personal Interest

1. 4. 2. 1 BP Engineers

The engineers have submit their matter over having less safeness design to the management nonetheless they still go for the riskier basic safety option (as advised by the managers) because they have got self-interest in job security. As employees, they may fear of shedding their job if indeed they go head-on with the business or higher level management. As such, they did not whistle-blow and sustained doing the improper safety measures. The engineers' matter for safeguarding their job has outweighed the general public protection and environmental harm.

1. 4. 2. 2 BP Management

As managers, they have responsibility to guarantee the company is running at nominal cost and maximum earnings. They managers usually work under specific time constraints and budgeted expenditures to accomplish their aim for performance. If they reach the prospective, they can get bonus items/incentives or be promoted to higher level position. This self-interest may motivate managers to opt for the less costly design (at the expense of the safe practices issue).

1. 4. 2. 3 Halliburton

Halliburton tends to follow BP instructions for the oil well design to ensure the customer (BP) is satisfied although Halliburton realized that the failure probability was very high. If Halliburton insisted on BP to work with the better oil well design, BP might disagree with Halliburton and find another oil rig operator. Halliburton might then lose its valuable customer. Additionally, its reputation on customer satisfactory would be harmed and Halliburton may lose possible future agreements with other customers.


2. 1 Well Design

Firstly, Halliburton has proposed two primary options of well design to BP. One option consists of two steel tubes, the liner and tieback. The liner tube is suspending from the liner hanger in the bottom of the casing already in. The tieback pipe is inserted together with the liner hanger. With this liner/tieback option, not only are four obstacles for annular movement provided, but liner hanger also serves as second barrier for Hydro Carbon in annulus (BP, 2010). Furthermore, they have higher chance to succeed in cement lift. It is easier to solution the cement job even if it's required. However, liner/tieback option has its downsides. It takes more time and cost to develop as compared to the second option, long string casing.

On the other side, long string casing involves running only one string of steel pipe from the seafloor completely to underneath of the well. String option only provides two obstacles for annular circulation (BP, 2010). Additionally, it is indicated by concrete simulation that cement job will be likely unsuccessful because of formation breakdown. In addition, it could violate MMS restrictions of 500 feet of concrete above the very best Hydro Carbon area, which is required bond log to be verified. In spite of the aforementioned risks, long string casing installation is less time consuming and less expensive than liner/tieback which in turn affected BP's decision to utilize the second option.

For economic reason, BP has made a decision to use the long string casing option despite its likely disadvantages. Liner/tieback option was declined though it will be safer option as advised by Halliburton. On March 25, in his email for Allison Crane, Materials Management Planner of BP, Morel brought up that long casing string will save at least 3 days (Henry Watson, 2010). In the following week, he emailed BP Completion Engineer and Drilling Engineer that it's better not to choose the tieback as it will save big money and time.

2. 2 Centralizers

Secondly, BP has used only 6 centralizers that are attached about the casings to keep carefully the casing at the heart of the well. It's important to keep carefully the casing at the heart of the well because there is increased risk of gas flowing the annular space around the casing credited to development of channels in the concrete. To achieve only a gas stream problem, 21 centralizers must install relating to Mr. Gagliano modeling. Mr. Gagliano has up to date to BP engineer that modeling resulted in moderate gas flow problem with 10 centralizers (Henry Watson, 2010). However, BP engineer, Mr Morel, emailed back that it's hoped the pipe remains at the centre due to gravity as it is a vertical opening, and "as far as changes are concerned, it is too later to get any more product on the rig, our only option is to set up placement of these centralizers" (Henry Watson, 2010).

Mr Waltz, BP's Drilling Anatomist Team Leader explained to Mr Guide, BP's Well Team Head that he needed to be sure the centralizers were working well unlike their past Atlantis job, and "I do nothing like or want to disrupt your functions. . . . I know the look has been lagging behind the operations and I have to flip that around. "(Henry Watson, 2010). Mr. Guide responded that "it will take 10 hrs to set up them. . . . I do not like this and. . . I am very worried about using them. " Hence, even though BP has known the risks of experiencing gas move problem, they were just looking to get the work done faster rather than solving the issue.

2. 3 Concrete Bond Log

Lastly, BP has skipped concrete connection log test which determines whether the concrete has bonded to the casing and encircling formation. By accomplishing the test, even if there is any route in the concrete for the gas move, restoring the cementing job can be carried out by injecting additional concrete to obstruct any channel for the gas flow.

Mr. Roth, Halliburton Vice Leader of Cementing, said that the concrete analysis should be performed as a part of detailed system integrity test if the concrete is to be relied upon as an effective hurdle (Henry Watson, 2010). Furthermore, a cement relationship log test was required when there is an insufficient cementing job matching to Minerals Management Service (MMS) restrictions. Mr. Gagliano's simulation end result proved that cementing job on Macondo well is inadequate cement job.

On April 18, BP has contracted Schlumberger for the concrete relationship log test if BP has wanted those services (Henry Watson, 2010). On April 20, the Schlumberger staff was told that cement bond log test is not needed to perform. The cement connection log test will cost over $128, 000 to complete. On the other hand, canceling you will be charged only $10, 000. Furthermore, it would take additional 9 to 12 hours to perform the test. It could take more time if cement fixing job was required.

2. 4 Blowout Preventor (BOP)

Blowout preventer is utilized to automatically cut the tube and seal the well to avoid the oil from leaking the well if any failing in system is occurred. Hence, it is very much important to get blowout preventer in an exceedingly risky businesses like drilling of profound water oil well and to test the integrity of blowout preventer. Although blowout preventer had been suited to BP wellhead, there was failing in blowout preventer as the oil acquired leaked from the well although the explanation for the inability is as yet not known (Russell, 2010). Additionally, it is suggested in documents mentioned during congressional hearings June17, 2010 that there were modifications made to BOP for the Macondo site which increased the chance of BOP inability.

2. 4 Theory of Ethics

In this section, we will try to use several theory of ethics to discern whether or not the company was doing the right thing ethically.

2. 4. 1 Reversibility

If BP engineers are required to operate on the oil rig platform, BP engineers would choose series/tie back casing, more centralizers assembly as it concerns for his or her lives relating to reversibility. In addition, cement relationship log test is going to be performed to make sure it is safe to use.

2. 4. 2 Function Utilitarianism

By choosing long string casing, the operating cost and time will be reduced which could result in lowering the purchase price that the general public must pay. If there were no explosion of oil rig, choosing long string casing was good in function utilitarianism procedure. However, there was explosion and oil leakage influences the sea lives and public's livelihood. Furthermore, credited to BP negligence, these were fined. Hence, regarding to do something Utilitarianism, choosing the long string casing, procedure with just 6 centralizers and failing to perform concrete connection log test shouldn't be done.

2. 4. 3 Cost Advantage Analysis

BP has chosen the cheaper and less time consuming option. Hence, BP has done the right things in terms of cost profit examination. However, cost gain analysis shouldn't be used here because it concerned lives of the personnel on the oil rig program and the marine lives.

However, scheduled to explosion and oil leakage, BP has to spend more than the amount they should spend on well design, centralizers and cement connection log. Hence, they have got under estimated the amount of money needed to pay when there is any accident took place.

2. 4. 4 Risk Profit Analysis

Although BP would save big money and time, the choice they decided is very risky as the simulation consequence shows there would be problem in gas circulation. Moreover, the risk they took has high potential for failures although some time and money were saved. Hence, in term of risk advantage examination, BP has chosen the wrong options.

2. 4. 5 Code of Ethics

According to IEEE's code of ethic, "engineer shall accept responsibility in making decision consistent with the safety health insurance and welfare of the public".

According to National Modern culture of Professional Engineers (NSPE) code of ethics, "Engineer shall maintain paramount the security, health, and welfare of the general public. "

Engineers are encouraged to abide by the principles of sustainable development in order to protect the environment for future generations"

Hence, BP was unethical to choose the cheaper and less frustrating option according to the above approaches. Furthermore, BP has violated the rules of ethic because it has neglected the safeness of open public and environment. If BP experienced chosen safer options somewhat than cheaper options, this tragic incident could have been prevented.

CHAPTER 3: THE 3Cs - Communication and Company Culture

3. 1 Whistle Blowing

When interviewed by CNN, a survivor from the BP's Deepwater Horizon, Daniel Barron III, described that on the morning of the explosion, there is an argument about the decision to go ahead replacing the heavy dirt, used to keep carefully the well's pressure down, with lighter seawater to speed up the procedure. BP's management decided to carry on with seawater. After the exchange, Baron talked about, main driller Dewey Revette portrayed concern and opposition regarding the decision made (Bloxham, 2010).

Like Mr Revette, there are a great many other Deepwater Horizon rig employees who got concerns regarding the protection of the rig, which got they been listened to and heeded, would have averted the tragedy. However, regrettably, these concerns had not been voiced out properly and heeded. The workers have fulfilled their duty to whistle blow safe practices issues that may have led to the car accident.

3. 1. 1 Universalizability

Workers must have whistle-blowed. If everyone left behind their responsibility to whistle-blow, no action would be studied by the company to rectify the situation.

3. 1. 2 Function Utilitarianism

Again, whistle blowing should have been done. Whistle-blowing on safe practices issue promotes greater good of the population. While operating the oil rig in the manner it was run saved cost, the power is not distributed similarly and it may well not even be comparable to the long term effects it brought on. Only few BP officials get the majority of the monetary benefit, while the cost is irreversible and is also disperse among people across countries.

3. 1. 3 Rule Utilitarianism

As to check out the actual BP Code of Conduct dictates, workers must have whistle-blow-ed from the safety concern.

3. 1. 4 Respect-For-Individual

Workers have to balance his respect for company and his admiration for their fellow workers' lives and public's health and survival. Certainly, the last mentioned outweigh the esteem for the business. Thus workers did the incorrect thing under this guideline.

3. 1. 5 Code of Ethics

According to BP's own Code of Conduct, "If you are unsure of how to proceed specifically circumstances or concerned that the code is being cracked, you have a responsibility to speak up. The code points out the mechanisms to get this done. . . and the protections to ensure that retaliation against those who do speak up will never be tolerated. . . . . Always. . . Stop any work that becomes unsafe. "

Workers should have reported the safe practices issues and even gone to the degree of halting work.

According to NPSE's Code of Conduct, "Engineers will be guided in every their relationships by the best standards of honesty and integrity. Engineers shall advise their clients or employers when they imagine a project will never be successful. Engineers shall not promote their own interest at the expense of the dignity and integrity of the career. "

Workers should have persisted in advising BP management that if indeed they continue their practice, automobile accident is bound to happen. They shouldn't have tried to market their own self-interest of keeping their job at the expense of their colleagues' lives, public lives, and marine lives.

3. 2 Company Culture

It is true that the some workers are partly to blame for not reporting what they know is incorrect. However, looking back again at the fact why they dare not speak up, it might be scheduled to BP's culture. Within a CNN interview, a Deepwater Horizon's rig survivor talked about that it was comprehended that the action of raising safeness concerns that might delay drilling plan could cause them to lose their job (Bloxham, 2010). Employees and ex-BP-employees detailed how the management overlooked protection by neglecting ageing equipment, pressured or harassed employees not to report problems, and slice short or delayed inspections in order to reduce development costs (Lustgarten, 2010). Beyond harrasment, some staff were even fired. Sneed, a past specialist at Purdhoe Bay, one of BP oil field, was fired for wanting to stop work upon discovery of your crack in the metallic skin of an oil transit range that could ignite stray gases (Lustgarten, 2010).

Not only the staff, subcontractors also have faced similar problem of not being able to force their concern regarding safety due to BP's company culture that prioritizes speed and finance on top of safe practices. Halliburton may dread that they face the same fate as BP's subcontractor, Kenneth Abbot who was simply fired when he tried to show you information regarding safe practices concern to BP official (Blizzard, 2010). Kenneth Abbott pointed out that Atlantis was functioning with imperfect and inaccurate executive documents. A 2008 email from Abbott uncovered a BP supervisor warning about imperfect design requirements being given to platform operators in violation of federal rules and BP's own safe practices restrictions. And he was fired for doing so.

The message that BP wish to bring across by these firings are clear, they are not prepared to follow the safeness ideals.

3. 2. 1 Reversibility

The company would not have fired whistle-blowers if they are ones of higher get ranking, such as director or shareholders. Hence, the function of firing employees can't be justified.

3. 2. 2 Function Utilitarianism

By firing these workers, BP eliminated risk of inside information leaking by arranging these instances as example. However, on the other side, staff may be demoralized because they know that have to be silent about whatever the company is doing or faulting even if it consists of human lives, if indeed they want to keep their job.

While hiding the security inadequacies prolonged the period of BP's large revenue and good reputation, the cost that BP and the entire world have to endure down the road is way larger than the benefit it reaped. Not only workers lost their lives, tremendous number of marine lives perished and billions of dollars are pumped into cleaning up the oil spill and compensating damaged civilians. Hence, BP's action is not justified.

3. 2. 3 Guideline Utilitarianism

BP has to follow its rule to protect those who speak up in concerns regarding safety, in this case whistle-blowing workers. Hence, their action of firing workers instead cannot be justified.

3. 2. 4 Esteem for Individual

The company must balance between your value for the staff and the value for your company. The company may have fired these personnel to protect the business's image and respect the company. However, they have got neglected respect for specific worker's honesty and dignity. Hence, they should not have fired these personnel.

3. 2. 5 Code of Ethics

According to Instituto De Consejeros- Administradores (Spain), Code of Ethics for Companies, "Perform their activities in a specialist, ethical and liable manner. "

According to this code, BP professionals must do things within an ethical and liable way.

The management was being informed by personnel about the possible injury of the compromises on protection done on the rig and yet they didn't take any action to investigate and rectify the issues. Furthermore, they fired these folks for raising the issue. In this case, BP had not been acting in a professional manner.


BP has been accused of withholding vital information/manipulating information before launching them to open public.

4. 1 Some information manipulation

Firstly, on May 19th 2010, BP America president Lamar McKay reconfirmed that the damaged well's maximum release rate hovered around 5, 000 barrels each day. However, Affiliate Professor Wereley of Purdue University or college estimated the ruined well's oil-release rate at a higher figure, 95, 000 barrels every day (Raloff, 2010).

Secondly, Purdue's Werkeley mentions that if longer streams of video were offered, experts can further check the gas-to-oil proportion emanating from the well to produce more accurate estimate. BP management has those quantities but hasn't distributed them yet. Along with the oil giant also offers not been writing much video recording. On August 19th 2010, Transocean, the company that managed the oil rig, also alleged that BP was refusing at hand over information it needs about the explosion (BP rejects boasts, 2010).

Thirdly, soon after the oil rig exploded, BP purchased sponsored links at the top of search on the internet engines, Yahoo and google to keep people from the real news. This goes up the question: If BP weren't trying to influence information on the Gulf oil spill, why would they buy sponsored links? BP spokesman Toby Odone informed ABC Reports, "We have bought search terms on search engines to make it easier for folks to find out more about our efforts in the Gulf and make it easier for individuals to find key links to home elevators filing claims, confirming oil on the beach and signing up to volunteer" (Torbin, 2010). Nevertheless, the competitors argue that BP was manipulating search results on Google to keep their company image safe.

4. 2 Theory of Ethics

4. 2. 1 Reversibility Theory

If BP professionals were the public (i. e. fishermen and people who use or live by the seacoast), they could wish to know the real oil spill amount so they can know how the oil spill will affect their livelihood and health. The power and environmentalists also need to know the genuine data so they can take the appropriate measures to solve the oil spill. Thus, BP should not underestimate the spill rate.

4. 2. 2 Utilitarian Theory

BP may think hiding the oil spill damage can help mitigate the public panic, avoiding unneeded chaos. With less worry, BP can give attention to their cleaning-up steps. Thus BP hid information to bring maximum benefit to the general public and themselves with the assumption that BP quickly and diligently cleans the oil spill.

However, by hiding the info, BP can evade penalty that they have to pay to affected countries' administration and take less tidy up measures. Consequently, public's welfare will be jeopardized. Weighing both effects, BP should not have underestimated the spill rate. <However, this assumption is questionable. It is most likely that BP took these actions to keep its company image. They also hid information to evade penalty and take less clean up measures. Consequently, the public will not benefit from these minimal clean up actions. >

4. 2. 3 Violation of Code of Ethics

4. 2. 3. 1 Underestimation of Spill Rate

According to IEEE Code of Ethics, "In all honesty and genuine in stating statements or estimates predicated on the available data. "

More than four unbiased engineers have pegged the spill rate at between 25, 000 and 100, 000 barrels a day (Raloff, 2010). This might suggest BP's quantity is an outlier, said House Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment chairman Ed Markey. Wereley further assured that all of these estimates from beyond your industry are significantly greater than BP's. "I don't see any opportunity - any situation - under which their quantity is accurate, " he said. Thus, BP was neither genuine nor natural in stating quotes.

According to ASME Fundamental Canons, "Engineers shall declare their own errors when proven wrong and refrain from distorting or altering facts to justify their blunders. "

Responding to the public outrage and accusation, BP management defended themselves and said that estimates were hard to make since there was no way to attach a stream meter to the top of the gashes in the destroyed pipe. However, Rachel Maddow (2010) disagreed with BP. She talked about that If BP is found guilty of gross negligence because they reportedly failed to repair the ruined blow out preventer on the Deepwater Horizon, that penalty increases to $4, 300 per barrel. With the projected spill rate of 25, 000 barrels every day beginning on April 20 before completion of pain relief wells in August, the fines from the EPA alone would be 10. 7 billion dollars. As EPA oil spill fines are well known throughout the industry, she commented that "BP acquired a great deal of determination to underestimate their original numbers on the quantity of oil being spilled. " BP has breached the ASME Fundamental Canons, underestimating characters for his or her own benefits. With Utilitarian Theory, BP will not bring the maximum benefit to the public as they'll pay fewer penalties for environmentally friendly damage.

4. 2. 3. 2 Withholding important information

According to NSPE Code of Ethics, "Engineers shall avoid the use of statements comprising a material misrepresentation of reality or omitting a material fact. "

When subcommittee Markey formally requested BP to make live streaming video recording from its wellhead open to the general public, the video tutorial was compressed so that much of the details was lacking (Raloff, 2010). He emphasized that original unadulterated video footage is necessary for high-quality movement analysis. Therefore, chances are that BP has attempted to omit relevant materials facts from the general public.

Steven L. Roberts, lawyer for Transocean, creates that BP has extended to demonstrate its unwillingness, if not outright refusal, to deliver even the standard information to Transocean. "That is troubling, both in light of BP's frequently stated public dedication to openness and a fair investigation and since it appears that BP is withholding facts so that they can prevent some other entity other than BP from looking into, " he published (BP rejects statements, 2010). This substantiates that BP hasn't released even the essential information to the related companies and authorities.

4. 2. 3. 3 "Buying" online search engines and scientists

According to NSPE Code of Ethics, "Engineers shall not offer or give, either immediately or indirectly, any contribution or gift idea to impact pubic authority or even to secure work. "

Critics have identified BP's move as unethical. Maureen Mackey, a article writer on the Fiscal Times, an internet reports site, said: "What it effectively does indeed is the fact it bumps down other reliable news and view portions that are handling the spill. . . and (BP are) paying a lot of money for that. " He comments that BP is wanting to salvage its battered image following a oil slick in the Gulf coast of florida. This implies that BP may "buy" the mass media to manipulate information to serve BP.

In reality, BP's unethical serves are also apparent as BP has been offering signing bonuses and lucrative pay to prominent scientists from public universities throughout the Gulf Coast to aid its protection against spill litigation. BP attempted to hire the entire marine sciences office at one Alabama university, according to experts involved in discussions with the business's attorneys (Raines, 2010). The school declined the offer because of "confidentiality restrictions" that the business desired on any research and "obligations to use orders" from other attorneys.

More than one scientist interviewed by the Press-Register referred to being offered $250 an hour through BP lawyers. At eight hours a week, that amounts to $104, 000 a year. "It creates me feel like they were more interested in making certain we couldn't testify against them than in having us testify on their behalf, " said George Crozier, mind of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, who was simply contacted by BP ((Raines, 2010). This demonstrates BP has done unethical works as they feature gifts and bonus products to buy researchers' words.


5. 1 Background

BP definitely does not have a good track record in terms of oil spills, and they're no stranger to the earth in several of the nation's worst coal and oil related disasters.

In March 2005, a massive explosion ripped by having a tower at BP's refinery in Texas City, Texas, taking the fatality toll to 15 employees and accidental injuries to 170. Then, about a time later, at 5000km away in Alaska, technicians learned that about 4, 800 barrels of oil (~200, 000 gallons of crude oil) acquired seeped into the Alaskan snow through a small hole in BP's pipeline in Prudhoe Bay. More spills were uncovered in following years, and lastly it happened again in the Deepwater Horizon incident. According to Open public Citizen, BP has paid more than $550 million in fines, but it really seems that the amount of money is not an excessive amount of a deterrence to them.

5. 2 Assessment with BP case

In this section, we'll attract some comparisons between several of BP's previous coal and oil related mishaps.

5. 2. 1 Violation of BP's own company polices and code of ethics

For the Texas City mishap, the company actually ignored its own safeness protocols on functioning the tower (that was filled with fuel), and disabled a caution system. BP pleaded guilty to federal government felony charges and was fined more than $50 million by the united states EPA.

For the Alaska Oil Spill occurrence a 12 months later, BP was actually warned in 2002 to check on the pipeline, but they decided to disregard the warning. BP possessed no choice but to temporarily turn off its operations, leading to large disruptions to US oil resources. In addition, they were fined $12 million.

In addition, BP's own inner studies have also exposed that employees who work more than 16 time during a 24 hours period can lack the mental capacity to make sound and timely decisions. Yet, BP violated its policies and interior BP documents show that 16 plus hour shifts were boring, with 75% representing 18 hour work shifts. To meet targets established for external committments and performance, BP is prepared to risk allowing staff who already are tired to work more in a probably very dangerous environment working with flammable items and heavy volume equipment, somewhat than spend more time and money to train and hire more people. This is obviously a very unethical approach BP is taking.

This is comparable to how in our current case, BP selects to disregard it's own code of ethics

5. 2. 2 Tradeoff between safe practices for lower costs and shorter time

Similarly, an oil spill was discovered in BP's Lisburne service, where oil was pouring out from a two ft. long hole in the bottom of an 25-year-old pipeline. The bottomline was, in order to spend less, BP left it to the providers to act in response if anything took place to the pipeline, instead of spending money to install freeze safety, which could have prevented the rupture of the pipeline. In the same context in 2001, a similar incident happened, and BP told the Express of Alaska it would rectify the issue, nevertheless they never does.

This is strictly how our current stands - in an effort to spend less and save time, BP chose to ignore certain critical designs of the well which eventually contributed to the disaster.

5. 2. 3 "Silent" culture

Just last November (2009), another serious oil spill occured, and BP employees made an extended list of safe practices issues that contain not been resolved properly, making the Prudhoe Bay oilfield a potential for another great catastrophe. A worker who has worked there for 30 ages mentions that they still have "a huge selection of miles of rotting pipe prepared to break that needs to be replaced. " A lot of employees show the same sentiment, but they're worried to speak out, risking their careers. BP Alaska is literally pursuing an "operate to failure" attitude, avoiding spending money on maintenance and allowing equipments to use until they breakdown and then exchanging them.

In our current case, in the same way, several employees possessed noticed that there were certain things that were not right / not set up which might resulted in serious security percussions. However, for one reason or another, they did not voice it out to their superiors.

5. 2. 4 Management and Employee's Differing Views on safety

An act of whistleblowing was achieved by an employee who did the trick at the Lisburne Production Centre, when he emailed Alaskan BP officials greater than a dozen pieces of crucial development equipment that he remarks were not working or were our of service during the spill. He mentions specifically that "the management of our own maintenance simply is not working to keep a safe procedure. This difference in maintenance management triggers problems that increase the overall threat of place integrity and personnel security. " This email is currently in the hands of legal investigators.

There is not a specific point inside our current case that pinpoints that the management and worker got differing views on protection, but from just how that the management took certain decisions on the well design and this in Chapter 3. 2, where we referred to that the business even fired an employee who stopped work upon exploring a basic safety breach, it could be then identified that the management does really have an alternative standpoint from the employees regarding safeness.

5. 3 what heading to put ah

We have observed from the prior section a contrast between our current case and previous record of BP's oil and gas related damages has revealed the following similarties:

Violating its policies and code of ethics

Creating a huge tradeoff in safety for less expensive in terms of design, upgrading of equipment, installation of security equipments and training more employees (instead of overworking current ones).

"Silent" company culture

Management does not share the same security view as their employees

What this this entail? It then becomes clear that BP has not learnt its flaws at all, and with the findings from the analysis in the previous chapters, we discover the same reasons again and again once we compare them with earlier accidents from BP. BP, apparently, does not take the consequences of their actions and the disasters (lost of lives, damage to eco environment, oceans, disruption to current economic climate, heavy fines from government firms etc. ) significantly enough to warrant them to do something significant to handle the safeness issues properly.


6. 1 Pursuing Code of Ethics

Firstly, according to code of ethics, the liner/tieback option and 21 centralizers would be chosen in operation. Cement relationship log would also be performed. The first option would cost a lot of time and money. However, it'll provide very high safeness option and it would sure prevent the tragedy.

6. 2 Finding the Best Compromise

The second item would reduce the cost and time set alongside the first option. Although it would be less safe to use, it might be a great option if the decision is done properly. In this case, Liner/Tieback or Long String Casing, amount of centralizers consumption, and cement bond log should be chosen. Centralizers are incredibly very important to drilling oil wall in the ocean. Hence, it's important to have as much centralizers as it can be. In this case, choosing 21 centralizers is essential. Moreover, cement connection log should be performed. By undertaking cement bond log, it can be sure that the cementing is done properly or not. If there is any cementing problem, remedial cementing can be done. However, it is thought that liner/tieback option is not actually essential to choose. Hence, this program is a compromise between safe practices and cost or time.

It is thought that Anatomist is a compromise between cost and safe practices as no products can be completely safe and affordable. Hence, choosing the next option, is a bargain option between cost and basic safety and a good middle way.

6. 3 External Whistle-Blowing Agencies

Following style that is carried out by Singapore companies lately, BP can have engaged on exterior auditing company to have a whistle-blowing hotline where employees can file allegations against their own company anonymously. This might allow employees to be more vocal about their concerns and never have to stress about their career. Furthermore, since an external auditing company is filtering the issues, they may be more target in viewing the trouble.

6. 4 Carrying out a Proper Chain of Command

Employees can have averted threat of being fired when you are more alert to the problem in the business. Since he previously known that he is risking his job by preventing his work, he should have consulted his acquaintances and supervisor regarding the problem, instead of stopping his work right away.

Another possible solution would be to tackle the management by mailing private email to the business's internal audit department with full in depth report of the situation faced.

6. 5 Internal Activity Force

As discussed earlier, it can be seen that the main of the accident is the poor protection culture in the company. BP has didn't study from their mistakes in many previous damages. Our group believes that what you can do to rectify this problem is to enhance the company's safe practices culture. However, frame of mind is not at all something that can be done easily since it is extremely intangible. Hence, a more feasible solution is to ensure critical equipments are always in good condition, outdated and old equipments to be eradicated or improved by stricter monitoring. One plausible solution to carry this away is to improve enforcement of the Procedure Integrity Review file that BP developed in 2003, which identified protection and maintenance issues the company needed to address to protect the welfare of its staff. To greatly help in the execution, BP should think about setting up an internal task pressure, whose exclusive role is to consider corrective actions in bettering BP's basic safety culture. BP always had a structure of monitoring systems set up, and yet they may have again and again dismissed such alarms with excuses, such as "the delay [of the improvements] is a mindful readjustment that people undertook as we learned more about the range and complexities [of the maintenance projects]", and chose to make decisions that were unethical, in their own passions. In this way, BP would no longer have the ability to give every other excuses not to perform any improvement in the health of its protection equipments.


In summation, while working with ethical circumstances, an engineer would find turmoil between their interest and general public interest. It is generally decided that individual lives should never be jeopardized even though sometimes that means sacrificing the engineer's personal interest. As aforementioned, BP management experienced failed to respect this process by compromising condition of the rig's safe practices devices, while BP engineers and Halliburton experienced put their self-interest, job-security, before public interest, leading to the unfortunate devastation. BP and Halliburton may argue that they does so believing that nothing major could have happened. Possessed they known that such a outcome would happen, they surely would have done in any other case. However, they would never know, not in the past, not now, not in the future as well. Hence, BP and Halliburton possessed still neglected to follow the least that they must have done, to follow the rig maintanance safe practices guideline.

The brand between right and incorrect in any ethical problem is usually rather ambiguous. A solution that may be accepted by one party may be disadvantageous and disagreed by another get together. A convenient measure would be to gratify all or almost all of the code of universally agreed engineering ethics. However, professional moral codes cannot cover all the possible situations an employee might face; there is absolutely no replacement for good view. Hence, in each circumstance, an engineer should think about all possible solution and make decision based on the most universally arranged methodology. Whistle-blowing should be positioned as the final resort regardless, however, should still be considered when all other alternatives fail.

Appendix A

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