Thursday, July 1, 2010

BP (NYSE:BP) Response Strategy Didn't Include Hurricanes - Does it Matter?

The preparations for response to an oil spill by BP (NYSE:BP) didn't include tropical storms or hurricanes, leading some to question the overall validity and expertise of the oil giant in these areas.

It was in the midst of a Congressional hearing on creating a new law on improving the quality of technology in order to help stop accidents like the one on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig (which continues to spew oil into the Gulf of Mexico), where the revelation was brought forth, seeming to imply technology alone isn't the only answer if oil companies don't have the overall picture as to what could go wrong in case of an oil spill like the one we're now experiencing, and what variables would need to be included in their preparations and potential scenarios they may face.

Even though it was pointed out because of what has turned into Hurricane Alex, it isn't clear what else could be done in these circumstances more than is being done, now that the big waves have hit the area.

It could be that hurricanes weren't included in contingency plans because there's nothing else to do but leave the area until it subsides.

What is more important in that regard is when the equipment and moving of workers off these rigs could interfere with the flow of the general population leaving for safety at the same time. In that case, as it now being planned, it is better for the company to leave earlier in order to keep from interfering with traffic flow.

But as far as out in the water, other than ships that can better handle rough waters, there isn't much else that can be done but wait it out in safety.

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