A cost analysis of the BP disaster

The tragedy of the BP oil spill and consequent ecological disaster along the Gulf of Mexico coast of the United States still isn’t over, so anyone writing an account of the event can only capture part of the full story.

But in BP: the inside story published in the Financial Times on July 2, the paper’s energy editor Ed Crooks has done an excellent job of presenting a comprehensive background of the oil company at the heart of the disaster with an analysis of events and key individuals since things literally blew up at the end of April to offer a deeper sense of how this company ticks and how it meshes with its external ‘partners’ in this mess.

The report includes a neat infographic (click for larger view) that gives you a visual analysis of some key metrics including wildlife deaths, oil recovered and oil burned off, how many people and how much equipment are deployed, all tracked in a timeline alongside BP’s declining share price.

It’s hard to clearly see how this tragedy really will ultimately play out. Like the infographic, much of the mainstream media focus is on the environmental impact and what will happen to BP as a company as well as to Tony Hayward and Carl-Henric Svanberg, its beleaguered CEO and chairman respectively.

The financial cost to BP of clean-up efforts to date have now exceeded $3 billion, according to a BBC News report today. But what about the value of the human cost? mused friend Simon Collister in a tweet earlier today. I have no answer for that right now. I doubt anyone does.

Meanwhile, the oil keeps coming and the costs keep mounting.

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Marcie

    Thanks for this post Neville. I had missed the FT report which, as you say, was excellent. I have only 'discovered' you recently (recommended by a friend/colleague). Interesting that FT's report doesn't address the cost to BP's reputation/brand, but I guess that question is answered by the declining share price. And recent talks of takeover. I remain frustrated by BP's approach to comms. More specifically, Tony Hayward's incompetence. Re-designing my blog but my thoughts on him a week ago are here http://bit.ly/ajVNnT

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