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Spills and Spin: The Inside Story of BP Paperback – 5 Jan 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Business (5 Jan. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781847940827
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847940827
  • ASIN: 184794082X
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Exhaustively researched ... If you want to know why BP got itself into such a mess before and after Deepwater Horizon, Spills and Spin is an excellent and reliable account" (Sunday Times)

"Compelling ... Bergin's account stands out as the most thoughtful of the many recent accounts" (Daily Telegraph)

"Bergin, a highly regarded oil industry reporter for Reuters, has provided the best assessment yet of how the accident was rooted in the nature of BP ... There are lessons here about how to prevent a crisis - and handle one - that anyone in business would do well to take in" (FT Weekend)

"Here is the story not only of BP's darkest day, but of its 20-year transformation from takeover target to dynamic market leader ... For a robust read on the combustible history of big oil ... Bergin has all the raw material you require" (The Richmond Magazine)

"Reveals how the Macondo well disaster was rooted to the history and culture of BP" (The Times)

Book Description

A gripping and eye-opening account of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and consequently a corporation in crisis.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico from the blow out from the Macondo well in April 2010 was no unfortunate accident. It was a culmination of years of cost cutting and rejection of safety measures and reduction in skilled engineering expertise according to Tom Bergin. And he should know. As a journalist with longstanding access to BP staff from John Browne and Tony Hayward down for many years, his knowledge of the company and contacts appear impressive.

When John Browne took over as CEO he introduced a new structure with the chief drilling engineer replaced by commercial managers on short rotations and the workforce halved from 100,000 to 50,000 between 1992 and 199 . Performance related remuneration packages focussed attention on short term goals. High risk tolerance was accepted in an intrinsically hazardous industry. In five years BP had three major disasters in the US. The Texas refinery explosion caused many deaths, the Alaskan oil pipe leaks polluted large areas of the tundra and then Macondo.

While Tony Hayward, when he replaced John Browne, claims to have inherited a broken inheritance his changes at BP failed to remove the incentive to take on ever more risk for short term gain. When Macondo blew out Tony Hayward’s response both in terms of engineering solutions and public presentation was poor. The drilling methods employed at Macondo for a high pressure deep water well were primarily to blame for the explosion. The meltdown at Macondo may have been exacerbated by blow out equipment failure , but it was not the primary cause.

For me a compulsive read written with a fluency of an experienced journalist and with the information and knowledge of a long standing oberserver.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Martin on 8 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having been a graduate engineer at BP from the late 80s until the 'redundancy' years of the mid 90s and witnessed almost first hand many of the periods described in this book, I simply couldn't put it down. This book is a must read for any oil industry professional who has a hint of integrity in them as it will vindicate all their doubts, lend credibility to all their conspiracy theories and confirm all their suspicions as to what was really going on in the background when they were trying to earn an honest crust.
More worryingly, it presents with supreme clarity what is rotten with the industry and provides an explanation of why and how the whole industry has followed in the footsteps of BP to the detriment of safety, honesty, ethics and morality - and ultimately to the detriment of profits and long term sustainability.
:-) Just an opinion may I add! But definitely a great read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. P. Kelson on 14 July 2011
Format: Paperback
Ordered on Monday..arrived on Tuesday...read by Wednesday!
A 'real' story which reads like a John Grisham novel..marvellous! Can't wait to see the film! I doubt if the (ex)senior management of BP will be giving out many autographed copies for christmas presents. A pity the author wasn't around at the time of Exxon Valdez.
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By Jules on 25 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback
Written in a fast-paced, eminently readable style, the author takes us through the whole sorry state of affairs that led up to the disaster from a unique perspective. His real time journalistic involvement gives us an objective insight into the pre- and post-event corporate behaviour. An engaging read and one for anybody with an interest in real life.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael D. on 6 Jan. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Bergin lays the out the story, from the origins of the current BP cooperate structure to the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in a concise and chronological order that's easy to read and very clear. The engineering around the drilling process is explained in adequate detail and in layman's terminology. Overall a very enjoyable and interesting (if not shocking) read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By hattyintheuk on 22 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
I'll be honest I picked up the book out of curiosity, I was not expecting to be gripped from the start after all I knew what happened .... big oil spill, damage to the environment, Hayward resigned etc. This is a brilliant and compelling story.

This will be the definitive book on the event, and on BP, and it has been scrupulously and meticulously researched. Matt who gave the poor review must have missed the detailed footnotes (though not sure how they ran for pages) and the authors pedigree - he is a Reuters journalist they as a general rule take great pride in verifiable fact.

BUT

How I rate a book is not just by the story (gripping) , and quality of writing (better than any John Grisham though granted that not hard), but it is whether I am still thinking about the issues it raised weeks after finishing it. Certainly this book will have you thinking, mulling and talking about it long after you have finished it

Enjoy
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An engrossing story of BP's apparent long running incompetence and cost cutting, leading up to the disasterous oil spillage in the Gulf of Mexico and the gross exploitation of BP by the US legal processes. Highly recommended.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gaurav Sharma VINE VOICE on 6 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
A corporate scandal, disaster or an implosion always creates an appetite for literature on the subject. Amid a cacophony of books - some hurried, some scrambled and some downright rubbish - you often have to wait for a book that is the real deal. I am delighted to say that if BP, its culture, the mother of all oil spills and its underlying causes are of interest to you, then Reuters correspondent Tom Bergin's book - Spills and Spin: The Inside Story of BP - is the real deal and was well worth the wait. Perhaps for many potential readers of this book, the author - a former oil broker turned newswire correspondent - would be a familiar name; Bergin's wire dispatches have been flickering on our Reuters monitors for some time. However, if you were a shade worried that so networked a man as the author would give some within BP an easy ride, then that worry gets smashed to pieces a few pages into the book.

In the energy business, as with some other critical components of the world we live in, there are no moral absolutes. On reading Bergin's account, the "pre-spill" BP it seems lost sight of morals full-stop. In a book of just under 300 pages, split by ten chapters banking on his experience as an oil correspondent, the author notes that what transpired when Deepwater Horizon went up in flames was not some isolated incident. Via a fast paced and gripping narration, he provides an account as well as his conjecture about all things BP and where did it all start to go wrong.
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