Surprise, BP Took Excessive Risks

This Wall Street Journal article makes a convincing case that BP’s negligence was to blame for the oil spill. When I first heard that people were boycotting BP, I had the neurotic worry that offshore drilling might be so intrinsically dangerous that all companies doing it are equally culpable and BP was just the one to lose its gamble.  That wouldn’t necessarily make punishing BP a bad decision, but knowing that BP took on unnecessary extra risks makes everything more straightforward.

Update: And BP has a history of terrible safety. (via Daring Fireball)

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3 responses to “Surprise, BP Took Excessive Risks

  1. We have to stay on this until it changes how business and engineering and construction is done. This was a clear result of engineering cutting corners.

    Wall Street got away with their mess because it is harder to show a clear picture of who was at fault and where the mess is. This picture, literally, is here in full 3D for us.

    http://qedrealestate.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/bp-deepwater-well-design-faulty-from-the-start/

  2. Offshore drilling is intrinsically dangerous. Only extremely strict safety measures which are always followed to the letter will prevent disaster. At any company, someone is going to cut a corner somewhere. My opinion is that humanity in general shouldn’t be taking on this kind of risk when we’ve watched ourselves fuck it up time and time again. I don’t trust myself to oversee something like that and I would be bored and unhealthy if I had that job.

  3. That job would thrill me to no end. This drilling would have never happened if we used methods such as Six Sigma in the planning phase. Why do we get it wrong with these big disasters? Nassim Taleb has written an excellent book to explain whey we got it wrong with the financial market and why we get it wrong in all areas where we down play the possibility of disaster.