During this redaction, we will first make a brief presentation of the British Petroleum group, then we will develop and analyse the events (Spill oil), which occurred in April 2010 in the gulf of Mexico. Afterward, we will develop the communication management strategy that British Petroleum did during the Crisis. Eventually, we will then explain the impacts that thesemistakes had on the Group and on their partners.
To Mrs Pauline Beaud
Presentation of the Group:
BP is a global oil and gas company, the headquarter is located in London. It is the third largest energy company and the fourth largest company in the world measured by revenues. The company has operations in about 80 countries, produces around 3.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, and has22,400 service stations worldwide. Its largest division is BP America, which is the biggest producer of oil and gas in the USA. As at 31 December 2009 it had total proven commercial reserves of 18.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent. BP has been involved in a number of environmental, safety and political controversies during its history, including the 1965 Sea Gem incident and the 2010 Deepwater oilSpill in the Gulf of Mexico. Its primary listing is on the London Stock Exchange and it is a constituent of the FTSE Top Index It has a secondary listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
April 2010: The Event: - The accident:
On April the 20th, a fire erupts on the Deepwater Horizon platform in the Gulf of Mexico, 43 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Two days later, the platform sank. Itcontained 2.6 million litters of oil and extracted nearly 1.27 million litters per day. Eleven people were missing. Deepwater Horizon, which was owned by Transocean, was operated by the British company BP. A total of three leaks letting escape each 800,000 litters of oil per day are identified. Since the accident, the oil escaped continuously from wells located 1,500 meters below the surface of theGulf of Mexico. BP immediately attempted to reassure the American public. The CEO of the British giant, Tony Hayward, says that "the impact of the disaster on the environment will probably be very, very modest", a sentence that earned him to be hatred by the American public. According to the committee of scientists appointed by the government, the estimates presented by the company were well belowreality. Experts estimate that between
20,000 and 40,000 barrels of crude oil (from 3.1 to 6.3 million litters) spread each day, not 5000 as had been suggested the oil giant. In early June, the oil slick spread over a radius of 320 km.
- The environmental consequence: On April the 30th, the first layers reach the coasts of Louisiana and soon the oil spreads into the bayous. In Venice, afishing port south of New Orleans, a ten centimetres layer of black gold lined the marshy. All the surrounding vegetation is contaminated by the gooey mixture. In total, over 55 kilometres of coastline are affected. The spill threatens the existence of wetlands, which experts call "animal nursery" at a time of year when birds, mammals and turtles give birth. The bottlenose dolphin and sea turtlesare among the first victims. Moreover, the spill may be caught by a powerful ocean current that could propel her to the Florida Keys, at the tip of Florida, threatening the third reef in the world. Nearly two months after the explosion, the impact of the disaster is still unclear. The quantities discharged are themselves not well known: from 100 to 215 million litters. The Washington Post compareswith previous oil spills. According to published studies on long-term consequences of the Exxon Valdez, which spilled 48 million gallons into the bay of Prince William Sound in Alaska, a population of 700 000 seabirds had been eliminated, and 5000 sea lions. Over twenty years later, the number of sea lions has not returned to its previous level. And herring have completely disappeared.
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