Human Error in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico

Categories: Oil Spill

Causing a great oil spill, on April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon exploded and caused a huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil spill caused a lot of damage to the life surrounding it coating birds’ feathers, causing birds to lose their buoyancy and the ability to regulate body temperature. Mammals could have ingested oil, which causes ulcers and internal bleeding. Sea turtles were covered in oil. Dead and dying deep sea corals were discovered seven miles from the Deepwater Horizon well.

Also, the oil spill caused a mass amount of fish loss, which ruined the food web. What caused the oil rig to fail? Human error played a main role in this oil spill. An oil rig is a structure with equipment for drilling and servicing an oil well. If you don’t know what an oil well is, it’s a boring in the Earth designed to bring up petroleum. The oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico failed due to many human decisions.

Due to BP ignoring, Halliburton, the cementing contractor, who simply recommended more devices called centralizers to make that design safer, but since BP never tested the wells integrity, the well failed.

The team that checked the pressure of the negative pressure tests misinterpreted the pressure readings and had ordered two tests to be done at the same time. This test didn’t work due to having an abnormal quantity. The results weren’t accurate and confused the workers. The crew also decided to replace mud with seawater.

Top Writers
Doctor Jennifer
Verified writer
5 (893)
Marrie pro writer
Verified writer
5 (204)
Verified writer
5 (339)
hire verified writer

The mud was to be used to prevent gas to be kicked up into the surface. The seawater was 40% less lighter, hence making it less capable of holding down gasses. The other reason the explosion happened was due to the blowout preventer failing. That would cause the blowout preventer to activate its shear rams, cut the drill pipe and seal the well. There was only supposed to be one pipe, hence the preventer was designed to only cut one, but there were two instead. Rig officials knew all along the blowout preventer had some leaks, notably in the yellow control pod that receives messages from the rig.

Also, there were fewer barriers to the gas flow, meaning there were less insulation and created open spaces along the side of the well, though it saved the company around $10 million. The disaster could’ve been prevented if BP had decided to listen to their workers, who had already told them of many problems, which they ignored. If BP wanted to save money, they could’ve not built the rig at all. If they were going to try to make money, they should’ve invested into the well a lot more, and had everything checked to be working, and not pressure all their workers. Patience and investment is the key to success. Since BP wanted to take shortcuts and not invest, settle on a good design or check and listen to their workers, they caused an oil spill which affected the environment and their business. It could’ve been prevented if only they listened and were patient. Overall, BP didn’t want to waste a lot of money, which in result caused an oil rig explosion. Though they did save money, the oil rig failed and it created a disaster which affected the ocean and their business. Due to human error, this engineering didn’t come out as planned.

Cite this page

Human Error in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. (2022, Jul 15). Retrieved from

Human Error in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico
Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7