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Drowning in Oil: BP & the Reckless Pursuit of Profit

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  75 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
The unprecedented account of how BP's win-at-all-costs culture led to this era's greatest industrial catastrophe Award-winning "Houston Chronicle" journalist Loren Steffy delivers an authoritative and hard-hitting account of the Deepwater Horizon disaster that reveals how it's only part of a larger pattern of corporate hubris on the part of British Petroleum. Written by th ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published December 20th 2010 by McGraw-Hill Education (first published November 5th 2010)
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Sep 28, 2012 Max rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Americans blaming foreigners for all their misfortunes - sad, but typical. This book recounts the failures of BP in the years leading up to the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. The author, an apparent Houston Energy/Oil expert Loren Steffy, claims that their focus on cost-cutting, hazy management structure and improper safety procedures were the main reason for the high number of fatalities in BP facilities in from 2004 to 2010.
Personally, I dont buy this kind of American tunnel-vision writing. E
Mandy Moody
Apr 25, 2011 Mandy Moody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Drowning in Oil was incredibly interesting and well written. I found it very informative without ever being dry. Steffy's knowledge and background in the industry made him the perfect person to write this book. His experience as a journalist paid off with absolutely stellar descriptions. I've never read a non-fiction that made you feel as if you were in the middle of the action the way this one did.
I also felt like the writing remained non-judgmental, in spite of being clear about who was to bla
Sep 26, 2013 Ronan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While this book looked at BP'S many failings I feel it left Transocean the drilling contractor off the hook. As somebody who works on a drilling rig I have some very serious questions about the failure of numerous safety systems on transoceans rig. The author has chose to focus almost soley on BP and gloss over the failings of other parties. Transocean has a similar goal/ budget driven operational practise as BP. While the fact that the well kicked back may well be BP's cut cost design's fault t ...more
John Branney
Aug 23, 2015 John Branney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a very good read and a good overview of the culture of BP. Having spent 34 years on the global oil services industry I found a few technical errors in the reading that lowered my confidence in the rest of the book. For example, the author completely mutilated page 159, all beginning with the statement that oil was heavier than water. Unfortunately that is a critical mistake when discussing the technical nature of the blowout. The author also mutilated topics on casing and perf ...more
May 28, 2015 Curtis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, oil-and-gas
Don't let the corny name fool you, this book provides an excellent analysis of BP's corporate culture under former CEO John Browne and how that culture culminated in the explosion at BP's Texas City refinery, BP's pipeline spill in Alaska, and the blowout of the Macando well. Browne emphasized cost-cutting above all else, which resulted in a neglect of proper safety procedures and a decline in BP's engineering capability. I enjoyed this book because the author incorporated biographical elements ...more
Patrick Kozlowski
The book I read was Drowning in Oil by Loren C. Steffy. This is a nonfiction book that not only details the Deepwater Horizon accident (known as the Gulf Oil Spill), but also the events leading up to it. It goes over the very beginning of the company, and details previous accidents that were BP’s fault, such as the Texas City Refinery explosion in 2005. However its main focus is on the Deepwater Horizon, and the causes of the disaster. This was an informative book, although it could be dry at ti ...more
Mar 23, 2015 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very informative. And from my close experience of BP over the last 7 years I'm pretty sure not much has changed, even in the last few years. But then there are a lot of narrow minded people in the industry making important decisions. It will be someone else's turn next. The U.S. needs to look at the UK/ European approach to HSE and learn from that. But it costs too much money....
Michael O'Loughlin
Loren Steffy’s Drowning in Oil, published by McGraw Hill is a historical look at the rise of BP and the other major oil companies and their endless pursuit of profits. It takes an objective look at the BP culture first created by John Browne and then perpetuated by Anthony Hayward, and how this culture of profit-driven decision making led to such an unsafe work environment that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was bound to happen. It also takes a look at the lack of proper oversight on the part o ...more
Diane C.
Jun 09, 2014 Diane C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a compelling blow by blow description of the people and events in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, was well as a use friendly education of general info regarding underwater oil drilling and the companies who do it, this is a great book!
Mar 15, 2014 Jeffrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good look at how culture tangibly influences a company.
Jul 17, 2011 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author shows the reader the systematic failures of BP in terms of safety, and how the company culture contributed to numerous disasters and deaths, not just the most recent oil spill. I do wish that the author had included a diagram that shows where all the different parts of the rig are, but readers can also do that on their own. I hope the disconnect between corporate actions and government regulation is corrected.
Jean Shoup
May 21, 2013 Jean Shoup rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An interesting account of what happened with the Deep Water Horizon explosion in the Gulf and BP as a company and their culture. In many ways the book helps the reader understand a little more clearly how intertwined Big Oil is in the government both federal and state and in the interdependence we all share as citizens.
Aug 02, 2011 G. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book shows why my job stays busy and is important. Well-written and reported, I expect it will be an award winner (Pulitzer?)
Apr 08, 2013 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gives an interesting account of the development of BP.
Sep 01, 2012 Asuka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone.
Interesting, but oddly pro-ExxonMobil.
Oct 30, 2014 Jacob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
it was a good book
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