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Spills and Spin: The Inside Story of BP Paperback – 5 Jan 2012
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"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)
A gripping and eye-opening account of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and consequently a corporation in crisis.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
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.
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.
Nevertheless it makes up for this by covering the later period excellently, with great detail put into how the company got to the point where something like Macondo was inevitable eventually. Focusing in particular on the characters of the BP board, but not overly vilifying them by showing how naïve cost cutting and short sightedness can lead to outright disaster.
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.
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.
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
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