Deepwater Horizon

My husband and I saw the movie Deepwater Horizon yesterday. I cried for the men and woman who suffered the terror of that catastrophe and for the 11 men who lost their lives.

The movie recounts the 12 hours prior to the worst oil disaster in United States history and one of the world’s largest man-made disasters. You might remember it as the Gulf of Mexico BP oil spill that occurred in 2010. It took the company 87 days to get it under control.

The Deepwater Horizon itself is a semi-submersible oil rig.

Deepwater Horizon oil rig

At the time of the explosion, 126 people were on board. Eleven of those people were never found after the explosion, fire and sinking of the rig.

Coast Guard ships trying to contain the fire

I believe greed and criminal negligence were the cause of this disaster. The U.S. Department of Justice agrees:

“Numerous investigations explored the causes of the explosion and record-setting spill. Notably, the U.S. government’s September 2011 report pointed to defective cement on the well, faulting mostly BP, but also rig operator Transocean and contractor Halliburton.[22][23] Earlier in 2011, a White House commission likewise blamed BP and its partners for a series of cost-cutting decisions and an inadequate safety system, but also concluded that the spill resulted from “systemic” root causes and “absent significant reform in both industry practices and government policies, might well recur”.[24]

In November 2012, BP and the United States Department of Justice settled federal criminal charges with BP pleading guilty to 11 counts of manslaughter, two misdemeanors, and a felony count of lying to Congress. BP also agreed to four years of government monitoring of its safety practices and ethics, and the Environmental Protection Agency announced that BP would be temporarily banned from new contracts with the US government. BP and the Department of Justice agreed to a record-setting $4.525 billion in fines and other payments.[25][26][27] As of February 2013, criminal and civil settlements and payments to a trust fund had cost the company $42.2 billion.[28]

In September 2014, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that BP was primarily responsible for the oil spill because of its gross negligence and reckless conduct.[29]

In July 2015, BP agreed to pay $18.7 billion in fines, the largest corporate settlement in U.S. history.[30]” (Wikipedia Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.)

The movie is a superb retelling of the events leading up to the disaster and a fitting tribute to the men and women who survived by sticking together and taking care of each other. It is well worth your time and money.

Author: dwkavanaugh

I live and write in the Santa Cruz Mountains with my husband, dogs Rosie and Belle, and the two feral cats that came with the cabin.

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