Many people have believed that British Petroleum did not respond very effectively to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The biggest complaint has been that the government and BP gave inaccurate estimates on the severity of the oil spill itself. When most people were thinking it was just going to be a regular oil spill that could be cleaned up easily it turned out to be anything but. BP was blamed for stating that the magnitude of flow from the oil was only one to five thousand barrels of oil per day, but the actual estimate was much more. The actual estimates were over 60,000 barrels of oil per day that were flowing into the ocean. These inaccurate statements started the fire for complaints against BP that ended up spiraling out of control. BP was spending more time trying to put out the fire with the media; that they were unable to concentrate fully on the response to the oil spill.
It was not until BP denied media access to the spill zones that they were finally able to concentrate on the spill. BP responded as effectively as they could for such a large spill that covered a vast part of the ocean. The blowout pipe was over one mile down into the ocean, which was too far down for divers to reach, so the BP response team had to use remotely operated vehicles. BP was also criticized for their response methods due to the burning, dispersants, skimming, and clean up of the oil on top of the ocean. The inaccurate estimates on the magnitude of the flow, as well as the inaccurate estimates on the remaining oil is what created the opinion that BP and the government were incompetent to handle a disaster of such magnitude. Other criticisms were not that BP or the government were incompetent, but that they were being evasive and candid while dispersing information to the public.
Both the government and BP have admitted that their estimates were inaccurate in the beginning, but they are adamant that they have always responded effectively to the disaster in the best way that they could. BP had stated that the flow of the oil was too difficult to estimate because of the lack of submerged metering near the origin of the flow, as well as the methane gas near the leakage. The criticism came when BP refused to let scientists perform necessary measurements to give a more accurate estimate. BP stated that it would be irrelevant to any response and also stated that the efforts would end up distracting BP from their own efforts of stemming the rate of flow. These initial mistakes by BP created a chain of events that took on a life of its own. BP was also accused of minimizing the actual magnitude of the leak so that they would not have to pay a hefty fine which would be dependent on the scope of the disaster.
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British Petroleum has created a plan that will implement a quicker response for any oils spills in the future. BP has put in over $1 billion into this new plan, and other oil companies, such as Conoco, Chevron, Exxon, and Shell are putting in $1 billion dollars as well. This money will go to forming a fresh business that will react to oil spills that occur in over 9,000 feet offshore and under the water. The new plan will position the necessary equipment needed within a matter of time after a spill happens. The equipment will also be completely functional in the time needed to take care of the spill. This came after the many complaints for BP’s original response to the oil spill. In order to prevent the same thing from happening again this new plan will ensure that all necessary preventative actions are being taken care of. Over all BP has been out over $3 billion dollars from lawsuits and clean up endeavors.