Saturday, July 03, 2010

FT on BP spill: "Anatomy of a disaster"

That's the title of the Financial Times' weekend piece on the BP Gulf oil spill, at least for my print edition.

Check out the online version, "BP: the inside story", which looks back on the still-developing disaster in the Gulf and its likely financial and environmental outcomes:

"...The Deepwater Horizon accident has been one of the most shattering disasters ever to hit a large international company. Not because of the 11 deaths on the rig, terrible though they were. Not because of the
environmental impact, or even the economic damage to the fishing and tourist industries of the Gulf. The devastating blow to BP comes because of the way the disaster has pitted the company against the US government and the American people. The story of the spill is how the fury of a nation was turned on a single company.

Less than a year ago, Deepwater Horizon seemed to have set BP on a very different course. Last summer, the group drilled the deepest well ever developed for a commercial operation and struck oil. On September 2, it announced it had discovered a “giant” field, christened Tiber, which was likely to hold more than 500 million barrels of recoverable oil.

BP’s shares rose by 4 per cent in a single day, a rare event for a company of BP’s size. Moreover, it seemed that the initial reaction was, if anything, understated. Tiber was a harbinger of a new dawn for the company, in which production from the deep water of the Gulf would drive global growth..."

Lots more here on the political nature of the Gulf disaster and the possible outcomes for BP, its shareholders and employees, the future of offshore drilling, and the environmental impacts for the Gulf coast.

Related articles and posts:

1. BP spill estimates upped again: interviews and insights - Finance Trends.

2. Macondo sends offshore drilling insurance into stratosphere - Upstream Online.