BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster and Renewable Energy Transition

Corporate and Personal Choices Regarding the Environment of the Future
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In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010 not only had devastating environmental consequences but also served as a wake-up call for the entire industry. As we revisit this pivotal moment, we’ll look into the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster and Renewable Energy Transition and examine the journey from crisis to opportunity, exploring recommendations for the organization to embrace a sustainable future by transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energies. Join us on this exploration of innovation, accountability, and the transformative power of embracing cleaner, more sustainable practices.

British Petroleum (BP) and the Deepwater Horizon Disaster of 2010

In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, owned by British Petroleum (BP), exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. The explosion killed 11 workers and released millions of barrels of oil into the gulf, causing the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. The BP Deepwater Horizon disaster was a tragic event that had far-reaching environmental and economic impacts.

The spill caused widespread damage to marine and wildlife habitats, as well as to the livelihoods of those who depend on the Gulf ecosystem for their livelihoods. Despite BP’s initial attempts to downplay the severity of the spill; it quickly became clear that this was a major environmental disaster. In the months that followed, BP was heavily criticized for its handling of the spill and its response to the crisis. Because of the disaster, BP agreed to pay billions of dollars in fines and compensation. The company has also made significant changes to its safety and environmental practices.

BP corporate attitudes toward change after the disaster of 2010

While several factors led to the accident, the three major decisions on closing the Macondo well may have contributed. The well casing, centralizers, and cement bond logs were crucial decisions and they may have led to the conditions that caused the well to blow out. Numerous factors may have influenced the decisions that led to the explosion of Deepwater Horizon.

BP’s organizational structure and culture as well as its relationship with contractors should be examined. Early in the decision-making process, some actors advocated for caution over cost–ensuring that problems are fixed even when inconvenient. Yet court testimony suggests that the three key decisions and perhaps others as well, opted for expediency over caution.

After the Deepwater Horizon Disaster of 2010, British Petroleum’s (BP) corporate attitudes toward change were split. Some executives wanted to continue with business as usual, while others recognized that the company needed to make sweeping changes to regain public trust. In the wake of the disaster, BP made several changes to its operations and corporate culture. It established a Safety and Operational Risk department, which was tasked with identifying and managing risks across the company.

It also implemented a new safety management system, which placed greater emphasis on employee input and collaboration. However, not all BP executives were on board with these changes. Some felt that they went too far and would make the company less competitive. As a result, there was tension between those who wanted to reform BP and those who wanted to keep it the same. In the end, the Deepwater Horizon Disaster forced BP to reevaluate its operations and make some much-needed changes. While not everyone was happy with these changes, they were necessary for the company to move forward.

Recommendations to implement a radical change process from fossil fuels to renewable energies

There are several ways that BP could implement a radical change from fossil fuels to renewable energies. One option would be for the company to invest heavily in research and development of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal power. Alternatively, BP could choose to divest from its fossil fuel business altogether and reinvest those funds into renewable energy companies or projects. Another possibility would be for BP to negotiate with governments and other stakeholders to create a framework for a just transition away from fossil fuels.

This could involve creating policies and regulations that incentivize the use of renewable energy while phasing out subsidies for fossil fuels. It could also involve investing in training and retraining programs for workers in the oil and gas industry so that they can transition into new jobs in the renewable energy sector. Ultimately, it will be up to BP to decide how best to implement a radical change from fossil fuels to renewables. However, whatever approach they take, they must act quickly and decisively to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster and Renewable Energy Transition – Conclusion

Following the Deepwater Horizon Disaster, British Petroleum (BP) was widely criticized for its handling of the disaster, and its leadership and organizational culture came under intense scrutiny, BP’s leadership was widely criticized for its handling of the disaster. The company was accused of putting profits ahead of safety, and its response to the spill was seen as inadequate. BP’s organizational culture also came under fire, with many accusing the company of being too aggressive and ruthless in its pursuit of oil. The Deepwater Horizon disaster had a profound impact on BP. The company has since made significant changes to its leadership and organizational culture to improve safety and prevent another disaster from occurring.


Ingersoll, C., Locke, R., & Reavis, C. (2012). BP and the deepwater horizon disaster of 2010. Cambridge. https://mitsloan.mit.edu/teaching-resources-library/bp-and-deepwater-horizon-disaster-2010

Reardon, K. K., Reardon, K. J., & Rowe, A. J. (1998). Leadership styles for the five stages of radical change. Acquisition Review Quarterly, 2. https://my.uopeople.edu/pluginfile.php/1600030/mod_book/chapter/358660/reardon.pdf

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