BP Operations in the United States
The United States represents a large section of BP’s business. In fact, one third of BP’s international business is accomplished through its operations in the United States. The subsidiary that runs BP in the US is known as BP America, Inc., which is headquartered in Houston, Texas. It handles business in three sectors: the lower 48 states, Alaska, and the deepwater in the Gulf of Mexico.
Other major BP subsidiaries include the following:
- BP Exploration & Production, which is in charge of exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico.
- BP Corporation North America, which provides refining operations for BP in America.
- BP Products North America, which handles the exploration, development, production of natural gas and oil. This company also provides marketing services for BP.
- BP America Production Company, which handles oil exploration and production in New Mexico.
- BP Energy Company, which trades different types of energy to industrial and utility customers. This subsidiary also offers risk management services.
Dangers to BP Workers
As BP owns and operates nearly every aspect of the oil production and selling process, its employees, contractors, and subcontractors may face nearly every hazardous environment in the industry. Many of these worksites are recognized as the most dangerous places to work on land and offshore.
BP employees and contractors may work at:
In these environments, those who work for BP may face countless dangers if the company neglects to take the appropriate measures to implement state and federal safety standards, observe environmental regulations, instill training for employees, perform timely turnarounds, and update or replace aging equipment.
Common injuries in the oil industry include:
Deepwater Horizon: The Largest Marine Oil Spill in History
On April 20, 2010 disaster happened in the Gulf of Mexico, just 40 miles off the Louisiana coast. While drilling in the BP-operated Macondo Prospect, a series of catastrophic events happen aboard the Deepwater Horizon. After methane gas escaped from the nearly-finished well, it found its way to the drilling riser and, eventually, into the rig itself. When the explosion was triggered, 11 workers on the oil rig lost their lives and 94 survivors were rescued from the sea. This tragic loss of life was just the beginning of a three-month-long environmental disaster, the cause of which was traced back to mismanagement on the part of BP and others.
As the worker’s scrambled for their lives, an apocalyptic firestorm erupted on their former worksite. The rig burned violently for about 36 hours and the entire rig eventually sank into the deep waters of the Gulf. Despite this distressing string of events, the repercussions of the incident were only just beginning. Oil began gushing uncontrollably from the uncapped oil well. The spill continued for 3 months—it sent over 53,000 barrels of oil into the ocean each day and, when the well was finally capped, over 4.9 million barrels of oil had escaped into the Gulf’s waters. This means that, in just 3 months, more oil than BP’s 70-nation operation is able to produce in a day was polluting the environment.
BP pled guilty to 11 counts of manslaughter, two misdemeanors, and felony count for lying to Congress. The company was fined a record-shattering $4.525 billion and the company has reportedly paid billions more in civil and criminal settlements. Four years after the explosion and spill, BP was found to be mostly at fault for the incident due to its neglect to practice proper safety standards and maintenance on the Deepwater Horizon.
The 2005 Texas City Refinery Explosion
On March 23, 2005, a BP refinery in Texas City was the site of an explosion that occurred nearly 100 years to the day of the Texas City Disaster. At the time, the refinery was the third largest in the state. While no accident is acceptable, an explosion at a refinery of this size is particularly catastrophic. The explosion was caused after a cloud of hydrocarbon vapor ignited. The blast claimed the lives of 15 workers and injured 180 more. It was later revealed that the plant was in a severe state of neglect and basic maintenance and upkeep would have prevented the tragedy. This news was shocking as Texas City was already the site of the worst industrial accident in America.
BP’s Safety History
The accidents mentioned above are not outliers in BP’s history of operating in the United States. According to one non-profit organization, BP has one of the worst workplace safety records in the country. Looking into BP’s safety record shows a company that has a history of neglect, accidents, and environmental disasters.
In the U.S. alone, BP has been cited by government agencies 186 times since 2000 and has paid nearly $30 billion in fines. Of these fines, 91 were for environmental violations and 29 were for workplace safety violations.
These numbers make one wonder whether BP is just as good at endangering workers and the environment as it excels at extracting oil from the earth. BP has not earned the good faith of Arnold & Itkin’s experienced team of attorneys. We have helped too many accident survivors and victims' families to give them a pass, and we will be there if it is apparent that they may have caused or contributed to another disaster.
Arnold & Itkin is There When Workers Need Help
When it comes to accidents, the personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Itkin know their leading cause: negligence. When companies have complex, multinational, and profitable operations, they should make worker safety their priority. When workers are injured, they develop debt, pain, and hardships during the recovery process. Arnold & Itkin believes in helping those who are victims of negligence reach their best possible recovery. This way, when accidents happen, companies will be held accountable if they failed to protect those that work for them.
We don’t just talk about these ideals at Arnold & Itkin—we work them into existence for our clients. In fact, when the Deepwater Horizon disaster happened, we were there standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the crew members that were present on the rig that day. Our attorneys represented over one third of the crew as they recovered from the horrific events of April 20, 2010. When the oil companies tried to shift blame to those that suffered the most from the accident, we were there to tell them it was unacceptable. As a law firm, representing the brave men and women from the Deepwater Horizon is one of our proudest moments.
If you were injured while working in the gas or oil industry, call our Texas oil accident attorneys today at (888) 493-1629 for a free consultation. We have won billions of dollars for our clients and are ready to see how we can help you.