Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling, Report to the President, January 2011

Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling, Report to the President, January 2011
Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling, Report to the President, January 2011
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On April 20, 2010, the Macondo well blew out, costing the lives of 11 men and beginning a catastrophe that sank the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and spilled nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The spill disrupted an entire region's economy, damaged fisheries and critical habitats, and brought vividly to light the risks of deepwater drilling for oil and gas -- the latest frontier in the national energy supply. Soon after, President Barack Obama appointed a seven-member Commission to investigate the disaster, analyze its causes and effects, and recommend the actions necessary to minimize such risks in the future. The Commission's report offers the American public and policymakers alike the fullest account available of what happened in the Gulf and why, and proposes actions -- changes in company behavior, reform of Government oversight, and investments in research and technology -- required as industry moves forward to meet the nation's energy needs.

Table of Contents

PART I: The Path to Tragedy

Chapter 1 “Everyone involved with the job…was completely satisfied….” The Deepwater Horizon, the Macondo Well, and Sudden Death on the Gulf of Mexico

Chapter 2 “Each oil well has its own personality” The History of Offshore Oil and Gas in the United States

Chapter 3 “It was like pulling teeth.” Oversight—and Oversights—in Regulating Deepwater Energy Exploration and Production in the Gulf of Mexico PART II: Explosion and Aftermath: The Causes and Consequences of the Disaster

Chapter 4 “But, who cares, it’s done, end of story, [we] will probably be fine and we’ll get a good cement job.” The Macondo Well and the Blowout Chapter 5 “You’re in it now, up to your neck!” Response and Containment

Chapter 6 “The worst environmental disaster America has ever faced.” Oiling a Rich Environment: Impacts and Assessment

Chapter 7 “People have plan fatigue . . . they’ve been planned to death” Recovery and Restoration

PART III: Lessons Learned: Industry, Government, Energy Policy

Chapter 8 “Safety is not proprietary.” Changing Business as Usual

Chapter 9 “Develop options for guarding against, and mitigating the impact of, oil spills associated with offshore drilling.” Investing in Safety, Investing in Response, Investing in the Gulf

Chapter 10 American Energy Policy and the Future of Offshore Drilling



Appendix A: Commission Members Appendix

B: List of Acronyms Appendix

C: Executive Order Appendix

D: Commission Staff and Consultants Appendix

E: List of Commission Meetings Appendix

F: List of Staff Working Papers


Individuals associated with oil and gas offshore development, federal and state officials with oversight responsibilities to monitor and ensure safety regulations are consistent and correctly administered could all use this publication as a reference point to how disasters are allowed to occur and best practices to avoid and restore eco-systems and public property and goodwill.

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National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling
Also known as the BP Oil Commission Report.
Key Phrases:
  • Commission on the British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, April 20, 2009
  • Oil Spills
  • Gulf of Mexico
  • Gulf Oil Disaster
  • Macondo Well
  • British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
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