As night settled on April 20, 2010, a series of explosions rocked
Deepwater Horizon, the immense semisubmersible drilling platform leased
by British Petroleum, located 40 miles off the Louisiana coast. The
ensuing inferno claimed 11 lives, and it would rage uncontained for two
days, until its wreckage sank to a final resting place nearly a mile
beneath the waves. On the ocean floor, the unit's wellhead erupted.
Over the next ten weeks, as repeated attempts to cap the geyser failed,
an estimated 200 million gallons of oil--the equivalent of 20 Exxon
Valdez spills - - spewed into the Gulf of Mexico, eventually lapping up
on beaches as far away as Florida.
Drowning in Oil, by award-winning Houston Chronicle business
reporter and columnist Loren Steffy--considered by many to be the
writer with the best access to the story - - is an unprecedented and
gripping narrative of this catastrophe and how BP's winner-take-all
business culture made it all but inevitable.
Through never-before-published interviews with BP executives and
employees, environmental experts, and oil industry insiders, Steffy
takes us behind the scenes of 100 years of BP corporate history.
Beginning with the conglomerate's early gambits in the Middle East to
its recent ascent among energy titans, Steff unearths the roots of the
Gulf oil spill in the unwritten bargain between oil producers and
consumers, whose insatiable appetites drive the search for new supplies
faster, farther, and deeper.
Beyond this, the Deepwater Horizon disaster took place after a history
of cost cutting in pursuit of profits, particularly under the guidance
of its two most recent ex-CEOs, John Browne and Anthony Hayward.
Exhaustively researched and documented, Drowning in Oil is the
first in-depth examination of how a lack of corporate responsibility
and government oversight led to the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S.
history. It is an objective, nopunches - - pulled account of the energy
industry: its environmental impact and the intense competition among
stakeholders in today's oil markets.
This book puts all the pieces together, offering a definitive account
of BP's pursuit of outsized profits as the industrial world awakens to
the grim realities of Peak Oil.