BP's Macondo Incident: Tragedy victims remembered
One year on: Over $17.7 billion spent cleaning up 87 day leak so far
On the evening of April 20, 2010, a gas release and subsequent explosion occurred on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig working on the Macondo exploration well for BP in the Gulf of Mexico
The fire burned for 36 hours before the rig sank, and hydrocarbons leaked into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days before the well was closed and sealed.
Fundamentally, the accident involved a loss of control over the pressure in the well followed by the failure of the well's blowout preventer, a specialized valve designed to maintain consistent conditions. After the initial explosions, the blowout preventer’s emergency functions failed to seal the well, allowing the leak to occur.
"Eleven people died as a result of the accident and others were injured. We deeply regret this loss of life and recognize the tremendous loss suffered by the families, friends and co-workers of those who died," says a new BP statement.
"We regret the damage caused to the environment and livelihoods of those in the communities affected. We are putting in place measures to help ensure it does not happen again."
Bob Dudley, Group CEO at BP released this statement last night:
"Today marks the first anniversary of the tragic accident on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven men died in the accident and our thoughts are with their families, friends and colleagues particularly today. We also remember those who were injured and affected in other ways by the accident and the subsequent oil spill. We are committed to meet our obligations to those affected by this tragedy and we will continue our work to strengthen safety and risk management across BP. But most of all today, we remember 11 fellow workers and we deeply regret the loss of their lives."
A BP corporate statement on its website today reads:
"We have acted to take responsibility for the clean-up, to respond swiftly to compensate people affected by the impact of the accident, and to look after the health, safety and welfare of the large number of residents and people who helped respond to the spill. As of 31 December 2010, we had spent $17.7 billion for our response activities. Throughout, we have sought to work closely with government, local residents, our shareholders, employees, the wider industry and the media."