The petroleum industry is rife with instances of corruption, mismanagement and unsafe practices in the field. The recent oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico is a good case in point. The Coast Guard and other officials do not yet know why the oil rig, The Deepwater Horizon, exploded but, interestingly enough it was operated by British Petroleum or BP which was also responsible for the refinery in Texas City, Texas in 2005. While these are clearly two separate and unique incidents they are indicative of both the inherent danger in the petroleum industry as well as the hubris that can seep into large conglomerates and their operations in the industry. The topic of BP’s oil rig explosion, sinking, and subsequent drill leakage is one that many business programs will assign for project management courses, operations classes, ethics classes, as well as crisis management programs for their research papers, essays, and dissertations.

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