Contract Management Implications for Oil and Gas Companies
MACONDO – Things will never be the same again.
Six months since an explosion ripped apart the Transocean Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico, and it seems the US and the world are still dealing with the repercussions – financial, legislatory, environmental, economic. Pipeline asked a random selection of commentators for their opinion of the current situation.
Alan Herbst of US-based strategic energy advisors, Utilis Advisiory Group, commented on the shifting face of energy companies, following the disaster: “In this environment, bigger will be better and I would expect to see consolidation amongst GoM players. There will be new Federal regulations enacted now that the MMS has been broken up. Corporate Governance should change. Energy firms will need to have sympathetic public figures, Board members who understand safety and increased use of “whistle blower” lines to change the operating culture to one where safety comes first.”
Mario Almonte, PR specialist and renowned political blogger for the Huffington Post said that for BP, the Gulf of Mexico disaster was not just a huge blow from a public relations perspective, but also from a financial one.
“Yet, none of these are insurmountable obstacles, and in several years BP should have regained its balance and re-emerged as strong as ever. The unfortunate truth of the PR nightmare for BP was that its CEO, Tony Hayward, continuously stumbled in responding to media queries – and therefore exacerbated a situation that already had Gulf Coast residents, and the country, raw with emotion.
“Ironically, in becoming the lightning rod for criticism of BP, Hayward also helped greatly contain public and media criticism – everyone was focused on Hayward, seeing him as the source of BP’s problems – rather than blaming the entire company for its response and handling of the disaster. Now, with Hayward out of the public eye, the public and the media seem less motivated to go after the corporation, allowing BP to quickly begin rebuilding its brand and resuming its position in the industry.
“What is also helping BP regain its footing is the fact that, from an environmental perspective, the damage the spill did to the Gulf is inconclusive. For every scientist who calls it the biggest environmental disaster of our time, there is another, equally respectable scientist who says that most of the oil has evaporated, bacteria are eating what remains, and nature is returning to normal.
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