This essay is all about the incident
that happened on the night of the 20th April 2010 when an oil
drilling rig called Deepwater horizon was in operations in the Macondo prospect
in the Gulf of Mexico and exploded due to poor management decisions which result in the death of 11 workers. It is also
known as one of the largest spill of oil in the history of oil drilling
operations in United States because 4 million barrels of oil flowed from the affected well over a period of 87 days (Environmental Protection
Agency, 2017). 

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of Key Risk

According to movie Deepwater Horizon (2016), there were several risks that management
overlooked before performing the final disastrous test. Management sent team 1
home without doing cement bond log test and it was so important because it was
the only thing in between the safety of the employees and blowout. In that
situation compromising on cement log test
means compromising on whole drilling infrastructure. Even after getting unsatisfactory
results from the gauge of drill line and kill line
they performed the final test without analysing its impact on employee’s
security and safety.


Key Risk Breakdown Structure

Level 0

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Project Risk



Equipment may not be fit for


Available materials may be of insufficient


Safety may not be considered in design


Project Management


Inaccurate estimates may cause
overspends etc.


Decision Making

Making decisions without analysing its







Risk identification is one
of the most sensitive areas in the projects because it requires proper consideration
from each and every point of view.The main sources of the risk could be either
internal to the project or external to the project whereas internal factors of
the risk may arise from people, processes, procedures, organizational culture,
managerial decisions, quality of the equipment etc  (Hilson, 2003).The primary purpose of the
risk management is to increase opportunities and decrease threats by keeping
the focus on objectives and goals of the project (Hillson, 1999).Since Project
management is a combination of teamwork so effective communication plays an important
role throughout the life cycle of the project but Enterprise Technology
Projects (2016) mentioned  4 common miscommunication
mistakes and one of them is that we often think that we have done enough
communication within teams to completely understand the nature of the projects
and there is a true fact regarding this is that no amount of communication is
ever enough.When Team 2 arrived at the site, there was no proper communication
in between the Team 1 and Team 2 about cement bond log test (Deepwater Horizon, 2016). In Risk Management, before identifying general or overall risks, it is
more important to identify that what events might be risky against which
barrier at what stage. There is no doubt that most probably same nature of the risks impacts on
same objectives which means that technical risk could influence technical
objectives and in the long run these objectives may disturb overall goals of
the project (Jaafari, 2001; Hillson, 2005). In Deepwater horizon, one of their
technical safety officers told them that
10% machinery on board is not working properly and may cause hazard during the
drilling process but that won’t help in convincing the management to stop from
performing the last test. In some cases, performing
risk analysis or mitigation of risk requires more expenses that result in exceeding the current budget up to 20%,
but the main thing is that whether the reduction
in the risk worth the additional expenditure? (Morris et al., 1991). That was the main reason behind not doing
cement log test in Deepwater Horizon, management
was already late for 43 days and they were ahead of almost $50 million more
expenditure because they were confident enough about cement log for more
drilling without testing the capability of its current state.



If you want
your decision making to be efficient then there is a need to quantify security
and safety risks to enable risk-based assessments of the effectiveness of
protective measures.


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