Addressing the Gulf of Mexico spill

Louisiana Gulf CoastWhat happened at the Deepwater Horizon rig is a tragedy on many levels – from the terrible loss of life involved, to the ongoing impact of the spill on the environment, communities and businesses of the Gulf Coast.  Everyone at ExxonMobil shares in the concern over the accident and spill, and we have contributed personnel and equipment to help with the response.

The Presidential Commission’s investigation and others underway will help us determine what happened and what needs to be done going forward.  This devastating chain of events is far from the industry norm.  We all need to understand what occurred on this occasion that did not occur at the 14,000 other deepwater wells that have been successfully drilled around the world.

ExxonMobil and others have, over the course of many years, developed and implemented procedures and equipment that have proved very effective in safely managing our offshore wells.  What we do know is that when you properly design wells for the range of risk anticipated; follow established procedures; build in layers of redundancy; properly inspect and maintain equipment; train operators; conduct tests and drills; and focus on safe operations and risk management, tragic incidents like the one in the Gulf of Mexico today should not occur.

We need to understand the events that led to this unprecedented accident, and take corresponding steps to further reduce the likelihood of a similar event ever occurring again.  An expert and thorough approach to understanding what happened is crucial because this incident represents a dramatic departure from the industry norm in deepwater drilling.

Offshore and deepwater resources are essential to U.S. energy security. Here are some reasons why:

Energy consumers around the world need the oil and natural gas resources found in offshore and deepwater regions, but they expect it to be done safely and in an environmentally sensitive way.


59 Comments

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  1. James Peppe says:

    Thanks for this site and for all that ExxonMobil is doing to help during this trying time. While no one should in any way minimize the scope of this tragedy – both human and environmental – neither must we lose sight of the important role of domestic energy production to the Gulf Region and the United States. Companies like ExxonMobil and so may others engaged in the very difficult enterprise of exploring for and producing the fuel on which our American economy depends play a vital role in maintaining and improving our standard of living, and that will not change any time soon.

    So let’s all continue working together to learn from accidents like this, to improve the best practices of manufacturing energy and, above all, take care to avoid making a very bad situation even worse by succumbing to the shortsighted passions of misguided political expediency.

    Manufacturers in America and the millions of families that depend on them deserve nothing less.

    • Ben Dover says:

      I don’t expect this will be posted, so I’ll keep it short.

      You say:
      “So let’s … take care to avoid making a very bad situation even worse by succumbing to the shortsighted passions of misguided political expediency”

      Spoken like a true corporate shill. Exactly which shortsighted passions should we avoid? The mourning of the 11 men killed on the BP rig, perhaps? Or, that feeling of depression that comes with seeing your third-generation livelihood wiped out? Or, that sense of despair that you feel when you find out that the very corporation that caused the *catastrophe* (not an “incident” as BP has dubbed it) is spending millions of dollars for PR, to avoid the truth coming out? Or should I simply try to not succumb to that feeling of disgust that I get when reading your post?

      Then, you say:
      “Companies like ExxonMobil … play a vital role in maintaining and improving our standard of living, and that will not change any time soon.”

      No sir, they play the same role that a illegal-drug supplier plays. They provide a product to temporarily satisfy self-destructive behavior and spend millions to block any attempt to research and develop alternative energy sources that would reduce the negative impact on our environment that’s caused by the use of fossil fuels. They do it all in the name of profit to the shareholders. That’s what oil corporations have always done; that’s what they will always do. We need to improve our “quality of life,” not our “standard of living.” We… read more »

      …can only do that by moving toward the use of cleaner, sustainable energy sources, and away from fossil fuel. ExxonMobil can put that in their pipe and smoke it.

      • D Byrd says:

        Let me know when you not only cut out using gasoline and diesel, but also all the other products made from crude oil:

        Jet fuel, Liquefied petroleum gas, Fuel for ships and factories, heating oil, Lubricating oils, waxes, polishes, Bitumen/asphalt for roads and roofing, Chemicals and others including plastics (Ethylene and propylene), alcohol, butyl rubber,…

        which go on to make…
        Clothing Ink, Heart Valves, Medicines, Crayons, Parachutes, Telephones, Enamel, Transparent tape, Antiseptics, Vacuum bottles, Deodorant, Pantyhose, Rubbing Alcohol, Carpets, Epoxy paint, Oil filters, Upholstery, Hearing Aids, Car sound insulation, Cassettes, Motorcycle helmets, Pillows, Shower doors, Shoes, Refrigerator linings, Electrical tape, Safety glass, Awnings, Salad bowl, Rubber cement, Nylon rope, Ice buckets, Fertilizers, Hair coloring, Toilet seats, Denture adhesive, Loudspeakers, Movie film, Fishing boots, Candles, Water pipes, Car enamel, Shower curtains, Credit cards, Aspirin, Golf balls, Detergents, Sunglasses, Glue, Fishing rods, Linoleum, Plastic wood, Soft contact lenses, Trash bags, Hand lotion, Shampoo, Shaving cream, Footballs, Paint brushes, Balloons, Fan belts, Umbrellas, Paint Rollers, Luggage, Antifreeze, Model cars, Floor wax, Sports car bodies, Tires, Dishwashing liquids, Unbreakable dishes, Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Combs, Tents, Hair curlers, Lipstick, Ice cube trays, Electric blankets, Tennis rackets, Drinking cups, House paint, Rollerskate wheels, Guitar strings, Ammonia, Eyeglasses, Ice chests, Life jackets, TV cabinets, Car battery cases, Insect repellent, Refrigerants, Typewriter ribbons, Cold cream, Glycerin, Plywood adhesive, Cameras, Anesthetics, Artificial turf, Artificial Limbs, Bandages, Dentures, Mops, Beach Umbrellas, Ballpoint pens, Boats, Nail polish, Golf bags, Caulking, Tape recorders, Curtains, Vitamin capsules, Dashboards, Putty, Percolators, Skis, Insecticides, Fishing lures, Perfumes, Shoe polish,… read more »

        …Petroleum jelly, Faucet washers, Food preservatives, Antihistamines, Cortisone, Dyes, LP records, Solvents, Roofing

    • aaron huber says:

      Thanks ExxonMobil for this site, its nice to have an outlet for questions and concerns for safety after such a horrible display of incompetence and greed that BP has shown.

      I have many concerns about safety and with the large number of oil rigs in our waters its hard for me to understand why there are not measures in place to regulate them more. I feel, and im sure you agree that stricter regulations are needed to insure this does not happen again. And most importantly a drastic increase in alternative clean energy research and investment, so offshore drilling will become a thing of the past. Afterall Wind and Solar power is much cheaper and cleaner than oil, and its impossible to have a “wind spill” or a “solar leak.”

      Also I think a fund should be put in place where a percentage of the money generated from the offshore drilling already taking place be put aside for environmental causes, as we have seen in the past 2 months there have been 3 leak(the largest of course being BP’s), im sure they will not be the last.

      But Exxon had a major oil spill in the past, and has experience in this process too with what is now the nations second largest oil spill (behind the one that is currently underway in our Gulf Coast). I understand there have been a lot of problems and delays in the settlements Exxon has promised to the people of Alaska… read more »

      …for the horrible destruction the company caused to Alaska’s fragile environment. I’ve read that as late as 2008 Exxon still owed over 383 million in settlement money, and that the company was ordered by the courts to pay it. Lets make sure this does not happen with BP, and they show some corporate responsibility, unlike what we have seen in the past. Lets all look to a future of responsibility and clean, safe practices.

      Thanks for letting me express my views!

      • David Page says:

        Where is the greed BP has shown, exactly? Seriously, you need to back up the boat a bit and think about those words.

        They are engaged in oil exploration and extraction to assist with the supply the 21 million barrels per day needs to satisfy the ever increasing demand for oil in the US. This volume is equivalent to the daily demand for oil in China, India, Japan, Russia and Japan – combined. Now, you were saying something about – greed?

        • aaron huber says:

          Greed, “a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed”

          BP’s profits in 2009 were 14 billion dollars.

          Dave, in my view making decisions based on cost rather than safety when in the context of oil rig as far out and large as the Deep Horizon, with the possible and now present potential for a disaster effecting the entire Gulf Coast, is in fact GREEDY. I’m not sure if you’ve looked into this much but its clear BP took some short cuts to save money (a concern brought up by Congress many many times during their hearing with Tony Hayward).

          Now justifying these risks taken by BP by saying that Americans use more oil than anyone, won’t cut it. If you haven’t noticed there is a bit of a green movement going on, investment in clean energy is on the rise, and encouraged by President Obama. We all want a cleaner alternative to oil, its clear oil is not the fuel of the future and its time to move forward.
          Yes, Americans use too much oil, we know this, but its not an excuse to ignore safety warning to save money. When you have a profit of 14 billion, risking disaster to save a lets just say 10 million for the sake of argument, is in fact a demonstration of “a selfish and excessive desire for more of something than is needed”

      • Ken Cohen says:

        We’ve provided more than $4.3 billion in compensatory payments, cleanup payments, settlements and fines as a result of the Valdez tanker spill, which was a low point in my company’s history. We voluntarily paid $300 million in compensation to more than 11,000 Alaskans and businesses within a year of the spill.

        • aaron huber says:

          Ken,

          I’ve noticed a trend recently, mainly with Tony Hayward (who I do not mean to compare you to) but also here with your response, of quoting these big numbers in payments and settlements your companies have “given” out. The main point I am making is the amount of money your company has NOT given out or in many cases has fought NOT to give out.
          In no way am I an expert in this topic, but I have been following recent events, and looked into past events. From what I understand your company Exxon in 1994 was ordered to pay 5.3 Billion to victims of your spill (Baker vs Exxon). In response your company appealed this decision almost a dozen times, bringing it all the way to the Supreme Court where you again lost but had the settlement reduced to 500 Million. This was in 2008, almost 20 years after your company spilled 11 Million gallons of oil onto Alaskan coastline. Let me also note here that the original judgment was just about equal to 1 year of your company’s profits at the time.

          Its very hard to put a number on the impact your spill has had and is still having on Alaska’s environment, economy and way of life, but ill throw out a few to make my point. . 1,300 Miles of coastline hit by Exxon’s oil, hundreds of thousands of dead wildlife killed by Exxon’s oil, 11,000 square miles… read more »

          …of ocean covered in Exxon’s oil. Let us not forget that the coast line is still to this day damaged as a result of your company’s negligence. In 2001 a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study evaluated the coastline again and found many areas still effected by Exxons oil “a total area of approximately 20 acres of shoreline in Prince William Sound are still contaminated with oil. Oil was found at 58 percent of the 91 sites assessed and is estimated to have the linear equivalent of 5.8 km of contaminated shoreline.” University of North Carolina estimated it might take 30 more years to fully recover from your spill. Im not going to go into the economic impact, or the impact on the way of life of the residents of Alaska but I think we can both agree that referring to it as a “large” impact would be an understatement.

          Ken, please feel free to correct anything i’ve posted here, because again i’m not the expert, and i’m sure you know more about whats going on in your company than Tony Hayward demonstrated he knows about BP in front of congress the other day.

          What im trying to get at here Ken is that though your company did pay out, it fought to pay out and fought for 20 years. Now I understand its cheaper and saves your company money to fight claims rather than paying them, but don’t you think that sometimes when something this big happens, when so many peoples lives are effected, jobs lost, environment destroyed, the company bottom line should take second seat to doing the right thing? In the Baker vs Exxon case we are talking 1 years profit I don’t think that is too much to ask when all things are considered.

  2. B S says:

    In a way there may be some positive outcomes by having this disaster occur. It has placed a visual measurement on the volume of oil we require to serve our daily lifestyles and shows us a startling irrefutable environmental impact that can and does occur. This disaster could well be a catalyst for people to change their habits which depend on fossil fuels.

    Aside from containing and mopping up the spill is there any likely hood the spilt oil will be reused or refined? If not what is the usual practice with the spilt waste oil?

  3. matt youn says:

    While I support the oil industry in its efforts (I am a BP and TOTAL shareholder) .. to supply our energy needs… lets not lose perspective in that your ultimate goal and obligation is for th enrichment of shareholders (as it should be). I am a little skeptical on your assertion that the events in the Gulf are far from the norm… however you may want to define that. The fact of the matter is that these black swan events can and will occur and the public needs to understand that. Just see what happened to Nuclear industry in this country… contrast that with what the French would say regarding the safety of nuclear power. So pontification and demagoguery adds little to solutions at this point.

  4. les crockett says:

    Irregardless of how much Deepwater wells produce for this country in terms of Production of Oil .We all have a much ‘higher calling’ to be able to continue to live on this planet as a living species that does not damage the ecosystem .
    That ALL animals may co-exist here Not just human life. Over the course of the past 15 years of deepwater drilling there have been NUMEROUS episode of spills . Millions of gallons that have leaked into the Ocean, In the Oceans off the cost of Mexico, Russia, Libya, The Mediterranean, Iceland, North Sea and yet the oil companies sweep it under the rug and say they will “learn” from the latest mistake. We are drilling 3 Miles down BEYOND the 5,000 ft of water to the bottom of the sea floor. At what point do companies realize that oil is too hard to get too? If we operate on the theories of Oil companies we Never reach that point because there is always a ‘profit to be made” despite the risks to the environment and to our planet.
    With the Millions of Gallons that have been released in spills dating back 15 years into the Ocean . Oil companies NEVER seem to tabulate those spills collectively to show how much DAMAGE to planet Earth that we have already done. is it any wonder that Sea Creatures like Killer whales, Blue Whales,… read more »

    …Sperm Whales, Dolphins, Walrus, and other creatures are beaching themselves in inland seas, inland bays and killing themselves in search of UNPOLLUTED water.
    Oil companies and the risks they have taken to get this very risky Oil have made the best case for The Boone Pickens case to switch to Clean Natural Gas and Wind Power for the sake of the planet’s health. No better argument can be made for doing it then the fact that the failure of this BP Oil company that has tried and failed for 56 days to stop this leak. Millions of gallons has spilled and no one seems to know or care that we are poisoning our enviroment for years to come. With the additional 500,000 gallons of dispersant that have been released to hide the oil “suspended in the strata of a column of water 5,000 feet deep . This only complicates the situation for creatures that live in the ocean and must swim, breath and exist within these plumes of Oil floating around.
    At some depth it may be found that leaks can’t be contained then what? Do we sacrifice the HEALTH of the planet and the USA because an Oil company was pursuing profits for their shareholders?

    Are shareholders needs above the 150Million Americans who use the resources of the Gulf of Mexico each day? Are shareholders needs above the Millions of creatures that use the Gulf of Mexico as their home and habitat? Are shareholders needs above the pursuit of happiness and co existence of life on this planet with other living creatures ? I think Not, It is time the Oil Companies stop pursuing these risky sources of Oil & switch to CNG & other alternatives for Oil like the Canadian Sands . If we don’t do it there may come a time when we have to write iff sections of our planet because youve killed it.

  5. Tony Papadopoulos says:

    “Within five years, global deepwater production is expected to rise to 10 million barrels per day – the amount of crude and liquids that Saudi Arabia produces every day”

    if this is the case and Saudi Arabia pays only .20 per gallon, then why in the U.S. we pay 2.60 per gallon? Are we missing something?

  6. Tom czubernat says:

    Gentlemen, isn’t it time to give up on this charade? Petroleum is one of Earth’s most toxic substances. Perhaps now might be the time for all oil companies to shift away completely from this and put everything else good before profits.

    Retrain your employees, if you care that much about them. Shift your focus away from poisonous fuels and toward real change. You have the money and the power to do so.

    May I remind you, your company has been involved in the heretofore single biggest oil related disaster. All oil companies have been polluting our home, not one is exempt. Your public relations attempts are in vain.

    • Neal Jordan says:

      Advice givers increase their credibility by getting their “facts” straight. A little Googling would have let you know that the Valdez involved less than a third of the oil spilled in any of the top ten spills. Cf http://library.thinkquest.org/26026/Statistics/largest_oil_spills.html
      And in case you are about to object that you meant domestic spills let me, as a long term Texan, assure you that tar balls from the giant Ixtoc spill washed up on our beaches for more than a year.
      Further, when tabulating “oil-related disasters” you might give some thought to human lives and consider inserting BP’s Texas City refinery blast a little higher on your list.

    • D Byrd says:

      Lots of things are toxic if handled improperly. As the humorous website DHMO.org points out, even water can be deadly if not respected and used properly.

      Petroleum is a naturally occurring substance. It bubbles up in the LA at the tar pits. Do we close the park because the pits contain a hazardous substance? There are organisms that depend on oil seeps for nourishment. Underwater asphalt volcanoes support chemical-loving bacteria, tube worms, etc. similar to hydrothermal vents.

      We tend to focus on fuels when we talk about oil dependency, but that is just a few products made from crude. Unless we are prepared to do without plastics, man-made fibers, etc., then we still need petroleum.

      My point is that lots things we encounter (e.g. essentials for life like water and oxygen) and activities we engage in everyday (e.g. driving) can be dangerous if we get complacent.

      From the ILPI website in FAQ about MSDS sheets.

      …But remember that other seemingly “harmless” substances such as table salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) may be dangerously incompatible with other substances or when their concentration or amount is higher than we normally encounter. See this 1993 OSHA interpretation letter for more information.
      For example, many think that oxygen poses no unusual risks because we breathe it all the time (it is 21% of the Earth’s atmosphere). But at 100% concentration, it is an extreme fire hazard and can even ignite some organic materials spontaneously!

      Common table sugar wouldn’t seem dangerous. But a 2008 sugar dust explosion at a Georgia… read more »

      …sugar refinery killed eleven workers and injured 44 others, 20 of whom required treatment at burn centers. So maybe an MSDS with a warning about dust explosions isn’t so silly after all.

      For a real-life assessment of 88 commonly used chemicals, take a look at Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals. Also check out “How should we handle MSDS requests for materials that do not require an MSDS?” elsewhere in this FAQ.

      Even if some of the information in MSDS’s is in there to satisfy lawyers, it is in your best interest to assume a worst case scenario. A good analogy is professionals who work with blood products. These workers must assume “universal precautions”, assuming that every blood sample they work with could transmit HIV or hepatitis even though few actually do. The payoff is in a greatly reduced risk of accident due to complacency.

      Respect the chemicals you are working with and know their hazards (and how you would respond to a spill, leak or other accident) before using them!

  7. Donald Braden says:

    The burden of proof is on the oil industry. I am sorry to say this apparently was not some unforeseeable act o god or even simply mechanical failure. So long as the principle requirement is profit the industry MUST prove it is behaving safely. Not only that they need to be able to demonstrate they have the ability to deal with these types of spills.

    While the industry has expanded its capabilities to drill ever deeper, little has been done to deal with the consequences of disasters of this nature. Since the industry reaps the profits but bears very little of the risk, as evidenced by the environmental and economic devastation being wrought in the Gulf right now.

    Subsidies to your industry should end immediately as well. As profitable as each of the energy companies are I am not certain exactly why we give you tax dollars to sell oil to us. Makes no sense.

    Oil and gas resources are important to our economy now, but the sooner we get away from burning stuff for our energy the better.

  8. Rolf Ernst says:

    Let us for a moment that Exxon indeed has a much better safety record. However, considering the Valdez disaster Exxon must also admit that unforeseen things happen. Given that and the fact that a single accident can destroy a fourth of the U.S. coastline, cost tens of thousands of individuals their livelihood and create catastrophic health conditions for both humans and animals we have to consider whether Americans are willing to pay this price for cheaper energy.

  9. Brian Baur says:

    I find it hard to believe that “Profit over Safety” is not a common theme in the industry. The take-away from this incident is that we need to do much more research and advance our technology for safety and cleanup to keep pace with our ability to drill deeper. All incident response plans from all oil companies drilling both on and offshore need to be re-evaluated. If we haven’t learned anything new in the 30 years since the Ictoc spill, what are we doing? Oh, yeah, making record profits.

  10. edwin drake says:

    It is good that Exxon has worked to be as safe as modern technology can be, but nothing is perfect. Can you give us a heads up on how much research Exxon has put into new technology for dealing with the aftermath of accidents, should they occur?

  11. Somesh Khandelwal says:

    I fully agree with the points brought up by Mr. Cohen. Offshore drilling is an important part of the future of the Oil and Energy Industry especially until clean energy becomes more practical, cheap and abundantly available. Having an accident, even though it is of a huge scale, does not imply that the rest of the industry is not working with safe procedures. This brings to mind every time there is an airplane crash, we are reminded that air travel is still statistically the safest option available. Similarly one accident among the thousands other such operations should not lead to a ban on off-shore drilling.
    At the same time, I believe Exxon and other companies must work together with Mr. Obama and BP to clean up the current mess and ensure that this does not happen again. Perhaps the 6 month moratorium can be best used to do a safety check of existing wells and other potentially hazardous sites.
    - Somesh

  12. James Smith says:

    I really don’t expect that exiting deep water wells are threatened with closure at the moment but remediation efforts should be anticipated.
    It would probably be wise to devise some sort of BOP containment enclosure that would reduce the damage done by a blow-out, unlikely as that my be. It always pays to be ahead of the curve.
    I’m sure there are many drilling engineers that look at what’s happened and reflect, “There but for the grace of God go I.” Confidence needs to be reacquired. BP’s experience should not reflect on the industry as a whole but it does.
    The industry bristles at the notion of a drilling moratorium but, “One can always come back from no, but there’s no coming back from yes.” I think without knowing the real cause of accident the goverment’s reaction showed reasonable caution. Maybe it’s just bad dirt.
    Oil needs to present some, “Here’s what we can do.” solutions before, “Here’s what you must do.” shows up.
    And it shouldn’t go waiting for too long.

  13. Roger Conner says:

    I am interested to understand this post before I comment. Can you tell me what the definition is of a “deepwater” well, as used in your post? Of the 14,000 “deepwater” wells, how many are as deep or deeper than the Deepwater Horizon well? How many have been drilled in the last five years? Can you refer us to a web site where the depth and distribution of the wells that you are using as a reference point?

  14. Garry Denke says:

    George P. Mitchell,

    No more cementing with bad drilling mud in the hole.
    If the defoamers “pills” fail chuck the gas-cut mud.
    Shame on BP plc for cementing with bad drilling mud.

    Thank you, G-D

  15. Ravi Gupta says:

    Thanks for the word about safety. Given the expertize and experience Exxon posses in deepwater activity, won’t it be nice to lend a helping hand to BP in sealing the well ?

  16. nate madison says:

    How do you respond to the way oil is procured from third world countries like Nigeria? As I see it, if we regulate over here, increasing the costs,and ultimately the energy, going into getting oil out of the ground. The more our rigs here will simply be token rigs and more pressure will be put on places like Nigeria.
    Also,@James Peppe, Im well aware of how crucial oil is, however conservation of precious resources hasn’t been popular with lawmakers. Don’t you think that shutting down most offshore drilling would force Americans to conserve?

  17. Jim Vaughn says:

    Perhaps the American people would like the oil industry to be very clear that even one such event such as the Deepwater Horizon can cancel out all the bullet points you listed as benefits from Deep Water drilling. Come back and talk to us when that gushing well is stopped and you do know what caused it. Until then, the industrys risk management has no credibility and perhaps the American people don’t want you gambling with their lives.

  18. mitravanu mishra says:

    This has been a tremendous environmental disaster as well as to the energy production. Thanks for the site and the help you guys are providing to BP to fight the disaster.

  19. Jeff C says:

    I think it’s important for those in DC setting policy to realize that if the regulatory and liability bars are raised as high as has been floated, they are by definition setting in place conditions that will halt deepwater drilling anywhere off America’s coasts as oil companies instead concentrate on oil fields in other parts of the world, assuming that eventually U.S. politicians will be compelled to reverse their constrictive policies in reaction to the oil production and the multi billions in corporate taxes it provides to the U.S. government and 100s of thousands of jobs go away.

    While many yearn for renewable energies to provide 100% of our power, it is structurally and fiscally not feasible at present nor in the near to medium term future. The costs would be a crushing blow to an already fragile economic recovery, the capacity isn’t available, and the amount of material resources needed scrap an oil based economy in a shorter term would be a harsher blow to the environment than a longer term shift, which would instead rely on technological development and demand based on cost competitiveness rather than government subsidy.

    Rather than a 6-month ban on offshore drilling, it would be wiser to call a summit of the major oil players, hash out a better set of safety rules and configure a capacity to monitor companies are playing by the rules. The BP disaster is a game changer, but it shouldn’t be a game ender.

  20. Kyle Sunoco says:

    Dear Exxon, What could be more ironic than you guys trying to spin this in your favor? You have yet to clean up your own wonderful Valdez spill in Alaska, but you have succeeded in dragging it all out as long as possible, and still not paying the thousands of families you crushed with that spill. Well done!

    And now here you are begging America to help you overturn the “shortsighted” six-month drilling ban that Obama imposed—about the
    only good thing he’s done so far in his miserably meager response to the biggest environmental catastrophe in America’s history.

    But at least someone’s messed up worse than you guys now! That must be some relief, at least. I love your first comment here, by the way. So transparently fake that it begs all belief. Yes, we must not make this “very bad situation” (that’s all it is to you?) “even worse by succumbing to the shortsighted passions of political expediency”. In other words, let’s keep drilling at will rather than take some time to make sure this won’t happen again.

    Because really, it’s all about money to you, isn’t it? It’s not about the millions of human lives wrecked by the Gulf oil spill, or the billions of wildlife lives. It’s just about making more money, the planet Earth be damned.

    My only real question is: with all the lying and spinning and earth-wrecking y’all do, how do you sleep at night?

    All too sincerely,
    Kyle Sunoco

  21. David Low says:

    While it is not my intent to detract from the good that Exxon and others have done over the years to encourage safe drilling practices, I would like to point out that despite all the safeguards, there is still a leak in the Gulf of Mexico that remains unplugged.

    Accidents happen despite our best efforts, and while I very much doubt that another well is likely to go rogue any time soon, I’m not sure that it is worth the risks to continue blindly on our current path.

    It is clear that despite all the preventative technology we have available, we have very little in the way of technology to solve a problem with a deep water well when it does occur. Built in layers of redundancy are great, but accidents are usually the result of things we haven’t foreseen. Until the oil industry proves they have the technology to stop a deepwater spill QUICKLY and EFFECTIVELY, I’m inclined to believe we need to shut down deepwater operations.

    http://theweek.com/article/index/203828/ocean-saratoga-a-second-leaking-oil-well

    This incident is in relatively shallow (500 feet) water and has been ongoing for 6 years. It was caused by a hurricane causing an underwater mudlside, wiping out a platform. Unpredictable circumstances created a problem that has resulted in oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico for 6 years, and the conditions aren’t near as extreme as deep-water drilling.

    My understanding is that BP is not the only one lacking the capacity to plug the leak at the Deepwater Horizons site. … read more »

    …If Exxon has the technology to do something about it and still hasn’t come forward, then it is an example of malicious destruction of the environment in an attempt to eliminate a competitor. If Exxon doesn’t have the technology, then they are every bit as culpable for the oil as BP in my opinion.

    Give us a solution to Deepwater Horizons and I’ll bite my tongue for a bit when it comes to criticising oil companies. Otherwise, accept the fact that the technology for cleanup and control is decades behind the technology for drilling and DO something about it. Starting with being responsible and shutting down deep water sites.

  22. Emile Bruneau says:

    If I understand correctly, after the Exxon Valdez, oil tankers were required to be double-hulled. They tell us that after the BP oil rig explosion that it would take weeks to drill a relief well. Why not require oil rigs to drill the relief well at the beginning of the project to be used as a fail-safe? Much like the redundancy of a double-hull.

    You say that properly designed rigs should not fail, and yet here we are. And from all I read, this type of thing happens all the time, just not in the U.S. or Europe, so not in the media. It was reported that a spill this size happens every year in Nigeria, for example (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/30/oil-spills-nigeria-niger-delta-shell).

    You oil companies operate with huge profit margins, even in these times of economic trouble. And yet there seems to be relatively little R and D on preventing spills and correcting catastrophic failures. Because of the oil-eating bacteria that consume the oxygen in the ocean, this will completely kill every living thing in a very large volume of the ocean. This should just not be allowed to happen. Please continue to develop pro-active rather than reactive techniques to address this type of catastrophe.

  23. Renee Sottong says:

    Mr. Peppe,

    I believe that the “misguided political expediency” you refer to bears a significant portion of responsibility in this Gulf disaster. Political expediency chants “Drill, baby, drill!” while oil companies engage in careless practices (including incomplete and ineffective emergency planning) and fail to invest profit dollars in R&D that would advance clean-up technology. If politics were not misguided, we would have effective regulations to prevent these disasters and demand realistic investments in safety-side technologies.

    As for BP, I do not believe that they are outliers in the land of corporate negligence. Where is ExxonMobil in this disaster? The blog post refers to “personnel and equipment” — but where are the ExxonMobil folks who know how to solve this problem? People who developed effective contingency plans and technology to deal with a deepwater spill? Where are the Shell Oil people? Where is the oil industry???

    And that says to me: none of you has the capacity to deal with an event like this. Even the unprecedented can be imagined. Should be. And so, none of you has the capability.

    All of you are beneficiaries of a lax political environment that allows you to exploit publicly-owned resources recklessly, armed only with profit-motive and some disingenuous stated commitments to “US energy security”.

    When ExxonMobil steps forward to acknowledge its own culpability here and to dedicate some real resources to development of effective prevention and clean-up technology … well, then I’ll eat my words and believe this blog is something more than a PR… read more »

    …exercise in exploiting the other guy’s failure to benefit your own corporate image.

  24. Brad Bradhead says:

    Thank you, ExxonMobil, for providing some perspective on this crisis. People need to understand that yes, maybe it happened this once, but what about the other 13,999 times it didn’t happen? How come no one ever talks about those times? How come no one is reporting on the several hundred birds and fish still alive in the Gulf of Mexico? There is also a dolphin (named Alex) who is doing ok. Sure, there are no more turtles and the fishing and tourism industries are destroyed, but let’s keep some perspective here. Let’s have some stories about the workers who didn’t die, and their families, who are doing very well. Good blog!

  25. Steve Dickinson says:

    Two things to keep in mind:

    1) BP said all the same things you are saying

    2) Exxon Valdez

  26. Brian Bee says:

    The Deepwater Horizon illustrates the demand for energy that our society presents. BP or any of the other companies would not be in the Gulf if the consumer didn’t present the demand.

    As a society we need to focus on ALL available forms of energy, not just the inexpensive ones. Conservation and efficiency are the low hanging fruit that need short term focus and will provide the largest reduction on the escalating demand.

    Society has a whole views waste as ‘chic’. Bigger autos than anyone needs, single homes more than a whole village requires, holiday lights so excessive just to be noticed, on and on…This view has to change to save our planet. We have been given a test, if we pass that test we get to keep the planet.

    If the insatiable demand continues to push for exploration into unknown frontiers an uncontrollable event far greater than the current Horizon issue WILL happen. Just a matter of when. Next major issue that mankind subjects the earth too may far greater than all our tools and technology can resolve. After all the current issue still is ongoing and will it ever be fully resolved ? It might be capped or relieved but do we really know the extent of the substructure and what is going on there. Likely not ! And this is not just the Macondo field. We have poked so many holes into the earth nobody knows the real count, or the end effect.

  27. Jason Jensen says:

    Thank you for doing everything you can to offset the BP oil disaster with your own profiting from nonrenewable energy resources. Your company, and so many multinational energy conglomerates, clearly put the market first and environment and general well-being of the public second. Thank you for this altruistic commitment to meeting the energy needs of the 21st Century while attending the needs of your investors, even if it means leaving behind a wake of environmental ruin for us. I only wish Exxon-Mobil could somehow earn more money. You deserve it!

  28. Marty Wondergem says:

    Thanks for your post.

    My hope is that sister companies in the oil industry will help each other in times of crisis both as a matter of community and of stewardship. This is a critical time in which the industry can show it’s best light in helping to solve one of the greatest environmental tragedies in recorded history. America, and the world, needs to see our best and brightest coming together in heroic fashion to stop this spill.

    Please consider all you can do to help.

  29. Jason Jensen says:

    BP would do well to learn from the mistakes that Exxon made during the disastrous Valdez atrocity! Exxon-Mobil has since emerged a world leader in corporate acquisitions and greenwashing campaigns, despite the ruinous consequences of its policies and worldview! If only BP had the same mighty PR engine that Exxon-Mobil had, perhaps they could go on parasitically destroying the environment without so much bothersome, pesky squawking from the unwashed masses!

  30. Doug MacLellan says:

    I appreciate that Exxon is reaching out as well during this calamitous event. I have worked in this industry for 37 years and have a great deal of respect for all of the hard honest work that is done by many professionals . Everyone I know in the industry is upset by this disaster. We all want to contribute to this world in a safe and environmentally harmless way (as much as we can). THe pinnacle company in our business is Exxon and hearing from them can only be good

  31. Reagon Clamon says:

    Hopefully, we will soon be decreasing our need for oil and gas and thus can forget about risky drilling operations in the ocean. It doesn’t matter how you look at it, problems are a lot more difficult to deal with when they’re a mile underwater.

  32. nyx erebos says:

    Meh. It’s disingenuous to say that the spill impacted the environment but Exxon looks to do things in an environmentally sensitive way. If course the spill was a tragedy for the region’s environment and the businesses and people which depend on it, in a large and acute way. But that oil was going to be bad for the environment in any case, most of it burned and ending up in the atmosphere, some as plastic particles in the oceanic gyres, some as petrochemical runoff choking waterways and expanding ocean dead zones. The damage would have been slow and widespread, with the entities responsible less obvious or accountable. That’s not really BP’s fault, but it wouldn’t be *good* for the environment. You’re digging up oil and natural gas, it may be necessary but it is going to be bad for the environment on a huge scale, there is no honest, reasonable way to suggest otherwise, especially since Exxon has been responsible for more than a few oil spills.

  33. Patrick Elmore says:

    Here are a few things that BP could do to make everyone feel better:

    1. Stop the current oil leak
    2. Recover/Clean up all of the oil that was leaked
    3. This is something that BP (and all oil companies that engage in offshore drilling) could do right now. Install remote kill valves on all underwater pipe lines. This was something that the oil industry lobbied very hard to make sure they did not have to do saying that it was necessary. It is very clear that these remote valves are crucial.

    Less talk about how important offshore drilling is. Anyone with any sense sees the importance of it. At the same time there is no reason for this disaster to go on any longer than it has to and more importantly there is certainly no reason for anything like this to ever happen again in the United States.

  34. Kym Garcia says:

    Since we know that OIL is a non-renewable asset, and many believe that world production of OIL has peaked, exactly what are your musings about how your company will adapt and stay viable after the asset has run dry? Don’t you think it might be a good idea to start now, considering how you’ll handle a total change of business over the next couple of decades? Or do you just want to keep risking our environment in order to realize your huge yearly profits? Think your shareholders would be willing to see some of those profits reinvested in actual, renewable products? Maybe you should be trying to woo them, instead of those of us who are sickened by the continual global ruin caused by oil spills.

  35. Paul Silverstein says:

    Ever hear the term, “Don’t poke the sleeping bear”? Just stay out of the way, keep your corporate “isms” to yourself, and Exxon’s precious stock won’t get any of the brain matter on it the way BP’s stock has done.

    In fact, if Exxon is SO concerned about an oil company’s public image…hang on, people are laughing so loud behind me I cannot hear myself type…as I was saying, if Exxon is so concerned about their image because BP has made the oil company’s look bad…*sigh*….sorry, more loud, raucous laughter….then Exxon and the rest of the multi-kabillion dollar oil companies out there should help BP out with the costs of cleaning up the mess their ignorance and corner-cutting has cost the Gulf area.

    Go ahead, lay a couple billion down in charitable help. That speak more than some fact-listing reason as to why we should feel confident in oil companies having the people’s best interests. Again…apologies for the laughter….

  36. Martha Denis says:

    “What we do know is that when you properly design wells for the range of risk anticipated; follow established procedures; build in layers of redundancy; properly inspect and maintain equipment; train operators; conduct tests and drills; and focus on safe operations and risk management, tragic incidents like the one in the Gulf of Mexico today should not occur.” Too bad you didn’t follow what you already know, huh.

    “We need to understand the events that led to this unprecedented accident…” We definitely understand some of the events that lead to this unprecedented accident, and more information comes to light every day. What’s truly tragic is that, knowing all of this, established procedures still were not followed, corners were still cut, and now the environment and the good people in states that border the Gulf of Mexico will be made to suffer and bear the burden of your hubris for years, if not decades, to come.

  37. Steph A says:

    But you need to know that we as a society, especially in the United States needs to find a new energy that wont have these complications. Due to BP’s lack of making sure that their components were working perfectly, now there is a leak from underneath the sea floor, and that is drastic!

    “In their letter, Waxman and Stupak point out that at the time of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, the well was significantly behind schedule, a fact which they say appears to have created pressure to take shortcuts to speed finishing the well. They assert that cost pressures played a part in the five following decision that may have led to vulnerabilities in the design of the well:

    • the decision to use a well design with few barriers to gas flow;

    • the failure to use a sufficient number of “centralizers” to prevent channeling during the cement process;

    • the failure to run a cement bond log to evaluate the effectiveness of the cement job;

    • the failure to circulate potentially gas-bearing drilling muds out of the well;

    • the failure to secure the wellhead with a lockdown sleeve before allowing pressure on the seal from below.

    To back up their assertions, the letter cites various internal BP, TransOcean and Halliburton documents, including an email in which a BP Drilling Engineer described the site as a “nightmare well”. ”

    Quoted from… read more »

    http://www.newsinferno.com/archives/21174

    The News Inferno article has links to BP’s live feed, as well as the letter to BP CEO Tony Hayward.

    Plus here is a link to MSNBC’s page for photos of the damage that this energy source can claim.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36880053/from/ET/?beginTab=1&beginSlide=1/ns/news-picture_stories

    Society and all major oil companies need to invest into a clean energy source that wont kill us all if one of the oil companies screws up their procedures.

    I appreciate all the help that major companies and volunteers are doing, and I understand that this hasn’t happened in this scope before, but it is a sign of change, and though no one likes it, we are just going to dig ourselves into a bigger hole than we are already in with our dependency on oil.

  38. Laura Houston says:

    I do not agree with you. I think it is normal for all wells to leak at least a little oil in the sea or on land. Every one of those spills no matter how small should be counted and the land or sea made totally whole. Any wild life removed from land to make way for any oil or mining leases should have equal public lands to replace them on. And that includes our wild horses. Horses are a native species to only North America and the doi and the blm have almost totally exterminated them as natural herds. 20 million acres have have been lost to leases!!

    Oil companies have to run 24/7 public live webcams on every well before I would ever believe anything they say. And soil testing on all the land based wells and water from the sea based wells. Test for oil, and trace it back to the well that leaked it. And none of the excuse both the oil.mining and federal Gov. uses all the time. This is on ‘private land’ so no public allowed. The salazar gang and his good old boys from the bush years to this day have used our public lands as if it belongs to them and their friends. They have squandered millions of taxpayer dollars, leased out the majority of our public lands to companies who make millions and ruin the lands! Yet the DOI never shows any profit, just millions of dollars spent of the taxpayer money…. read more »

    If it’s NOT making our Gov. any profit and costing the taxpayers millions to fix, why in the hell lease the public lands out in the first place?

    Those public webcams run, and the soil and water tests..done by non-oil company-non Gov. people.
    Oil company people, Federal Gov. good old boys and Exon…your talk is cheap, you always lie- prove what you say!

  39. rib mask says:

    I’m extremely glad that Exxon Mobil is addressing this issue in such a clear and well worded manner. It’s not often enough that we see such a huge company addressing issues such as these. I appreciate that Exxon Mobil has taken the time to comment on this disaster without resorting to using it as a marketing initiative, and by freely letting the public discuss these issues and not censoring the opinions made by visitors to this site. Perhaps there are some things that Exxon Mobil has learned in their work to eradicate the environmental devastation caused by their own oil spills that they can pass along to BP? At the very least, Exxon Mobil has shown that through their marketing efforts they are highly capable of removing most discussion regarding disasters caused by their own company from the public spotlight, and BP can learn from the example that Exxon Mobil has set.

  40. Max Hedon says:

    “what occurred on this occasion that did not occur at the 14,000 other deepwater wells that have been successfully drilled around the world.”

    It only has to happen once to be catastrophic and now we are keenly aware of the risks to the environment that your company takes. You are saying that Exxon manages risk better than BP. Given BP’s abismal record, that’s clear. But noting that Exxon operates in a regulatory atmosphere that can permit a company like BP to even exist as it did, and noting what sort of PR management the company spent money on and engaged in, your mini PR essay/experiment here, in the present broader context, fails to be reassuring.

    Exxon has this fear that everyone is now aware of the sort of risks in play in their business – and that can make it harder and more expensive to operate.

    Now let’s see if this is a “true blog” where people are allowed to write and communicate about an important issue or whether my post is deleted because it is merely a PR experiment. I assume that Exxon wants to at least give the impression of being open with the public by having a “blog” – but is any of that for real?

  41. j rielly says:

    Yes thanks for this site. Maybe Exxon can share some of the difficulties it faced when it was in the similar situation. Exxon lucked out with the remote region into which it spilled the oil, but can relate to BP in the negligent way they dealt with it. I believe the wording of the courts was ‘worse than negligent but less than malicious’ when describing exxon’s actions during and after the spill, but you guys would no better than I. What were the biggest unexpected challenges exxon faced in the immediate wake of the exxon valdez disaster.

  42. Joshua Gay says:

    Dear Exxon,

    Thanks for creating this blog and providing the public with valuable information.

    One comment I had was on the statement you wrote: “Energy consumers around the world need the oil and natural gas resources …”.

    I believe it would be more accurate to write: “Energy consumers around the world *want* the oil and natural gas resources …”.

    Sincerely,

    Joshua Gay
    Cambridge, MA

  43. William McKibben says:

    As a XOM shareholder and a Florida panhandle homeowner, I would like to see ExxonMobil share more information on what it is doing to help BP contain the spill and design better systems and procedures to prevent future oil spills. ExxonMobil has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in drilling and recovering from spills. I didn’t need an MBA to figure out that this sort of information is not a strategic competitive advantage or valuable intellectual property. Every crisis presents an opportunity. BP is squandering it (politically), XOM doesn’t have to follow suit.

    Drilling for oil is the Gulf is an important economic activity for America and I am glad to see some information being provided. With all the negativity around big oil and profits, it is time that businesses stand up and present more transparency and better information on the economic value they provide. Yes, in business school we are taught to maximize shareholder value. We’re also taught the importance of listening to and prioritizing all of our stakeholders. In this case, the environment, residents of the Gulf, and America in general. As a shareholder, I would like to see XOM donate time, money and expertise to the cleanup and to the environment and not just talk about not being BP. In the long run this is better for me as a shareholder and a resident of Florida. It is the right thing to do. Corporate responsibility does exist and it is time we let the world know that, as… read more »

    …managers, we are sincere about it.

    Regards,

    William

  44. Benjamin Phillips says:

    What we need is to move past our reliance and dependence on fossil fuels! What we need is an oil company that truly cares about the environment by relentlessly forging forward with a plan as well as a hefty investment in making alternative energy a priority. The oil company that does this will most likely in the near future see share values soar, sales increase and will be the industry leader for the foreseeable future. The question is, “Can and would an oil company lead us into a future of clean energy that compliments the environment”? I say yes. An oil company that wants to be a leader in bringing about a major change in the way we power our lives would!!

  45. David Page says:

    From my perspective, it would be good to hear that ExxonMobil is supportive of all efforts by BP to bring this leak under control.

    At the Congressional hearing yesterday, it was revealed that ExxonMobil would be hard pressed to contained a leak of 150,000 barrels per day, let alone the 50,000 BP is currently battling to contain.

    I would hate to see ExxonMobil using this tragic situation to proffer. If you have nothing to offer by way of support for BP and the area affected, it would be in your interests to do nothing.

    Competitors and rivals or not – as members of the oil industry your all in this together. The idea that you offer a safer or even more moral or ethical edge has to be dismissed by memories of Exxon Valdez and your ongoing desecration of the Niger delta. Another competitor of your, Chevon, has spewed out 18 billion litres of polluted water into the Ecuadorian rain forest.

    None of you have the right to sit there and assume the ‘holier than thou’ mantra. Platitudes of concern are not helpful, real, visible support is the only thing that matters.

    At http://www.bpbarackspatsy.wordpress.com we believe that any one of the major oil companies could have been singled out for the political exploitation and manipulation being levelled at BP. There go you but for the grace of god, we think. Just remember, what goes around comes around.

  46. Geary Sikich says:

    Risk; business leaders know it exists. However, oftentimes companies aren’t taking a holistic approach to assess and manage their risk exposures. Disruption happens. Natural disasters, technology disasters, manmade disasters happen. Oil companies entered the deep waters of the gulf armed with technology that works and generally works well. How did technology fail them? The failure is not in the technology it is in the unanticipated difficulties that are encountered when drilling at depths that are relatively unfamiliar to the industry.

    Could a technology breakthrough have changed what occurred to the Deepwater Horizon? Will there be a shift in consumer demand or a rise, or fall, in the price of oil that affects critical markets? Any of these can rewrite the future of a company – or a whole industry. If you haven’t faced this moment, you may soon. It’s time that oil company executives change the way they think about enterprise risk management, continuity of business operations and the way they run their businesses.

    Because a splintered approach to enterprise risk management has been the norm, with silos of risk management within organizations, the result has been that risk is poorly defined and buffering the organization from risk realization is; pardon the pun, risky at best. Taking enterprise risk management on with a truly integrated head-on approach is necessary.

  47. Michael Smith says:

    Yes, this disaster is terribly sad and devestating to families, local businesses, wildlife and the eco system. What I’d like to point out is this happens everyday, just not on this large of a scale in other areas outside energy. One example I’d share is that in my area, local builders are knocking down trees as fast as they can, raping the land to put up more houses, more shopping centers with more nail salons and tanning beds, more concrete for parking lots and roads. What does this do, destroys wildlife and natural habitat, leads to further flooding. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not condoning what has happened with Exxon Valdez, or the BP rig, but we all want to villify and burn these companies at the stake, but it’s happening all around us everyday, it just may not be so noticeable, but those are accepted as part of life. But really, do we need more houses, more shopping centers when existing sit empty. And to sit back and say this is just another reason we have to stop using fossil fuels, yeah, that would be great, but there is nothing out there to take the place of fossil fuels in the shear quanity needed. I know I can’t quite using fossil fuels, I have to drive to work, take my kids to school, heat my house. Yes, I hope one day we are not tied to fossil fuels, but I sure can’t… read more »

    …afford to pay for some type of alternative to fossil fuels, when the time comes that it’s affordable to ALL Americans, then I’m sure everyone will make the change, but let’s be real here, there is no true alternative for ALL Americans, fossil fuels is where it is at for now, so let’s focus on doing this better, more efficient, and most of all, safer. This is not the time to use this disaster to boycott fossil fuel or the companies that provide it, they are providing something ALL Americans NEED. If you want to put these companies out of business and stop drilling, what are you going to do for energy? Switch to that energy, don’t use fossil fuels, then start calling for less drilling or no drilling.

  48. Stephen Coulter says:

    Brian Bauer appears to strongly believe that “Profit over Safety” is a common theme in the industry. I would more likely expect the common theme to be “No Safety – No Profit”, or “No Safety – No Job.” One look at BP’s Macondo well is all it takes to understand that.

  49. James Peppe says:

    Thanks for this site and for all that ExxonMobil is doing to help during this trying time. While no one should in any way minimize the scope of this tragedy – both human and environmental – neither must we lose sight of the important role of domestic energy production to the Gulf Region and the United States. Companies like ExxonMobil and so may others engaged in the very difficult enterprise of exploring for and producing the fuel on which our American economy depends play a vital role in maintaining and improving our standard of living, and that will not change any time soon.

    So let’s all continue working together to learn from accidents like this, to improve the best practices of manufacturing energy and, above all, take care to avoid making a very bad situation even worse by succumbing to the shortsighted passions of misguided political expediency.

    Manufacturers in America and the millions of families that depend on them deserve nothing less.

    • Ben Dover says:

      I don’t expect this will be posted, so I’ll keep it short.

      You say:
      “So let’s … take care to avoid making a very bad situation even worse by succumbing to the shortsighted passions of misguided political expediency”

      Spoken like a true corporate shill. Exactly which shortsighted passions should we avoid? The mourning of the 11 men killed on the BP rig, perhaps? Or, that feeling of depression that comes with seeing your third-generation livelihood wiped out? Or, that sense of despair that you feel when you find out that the very corporation that caused the *catastrophe* (not an “incident” as BP has dubbed it) is spending millions of dollars for PR, to avoid the truth coming out? Or should I simply try to not succumb to that feeling of disgust that I get when reading your post?

      Then, you say:
      “Companies like ExxonMobil … play a vital role in maintaining and improving our standard of living, and that will not change any time soon.”

      No sir, they play the same role that a illegal-drug supplier plays. They provide a product to temporarily satisfy self-destructive behavior and spend millions to block any attempt to research and develop alternative energy sources that would reduce the negative impact on our environment that’s caused by the use of fossil fuels. They do it all in the name of profit to the shareholders. That’s what oil corporations have always done; that’s what they will always do. We need to improve our “quality of life,” not our “standard of living.” We… read more »

      …can only do that by moving toward the use of cleaner, sustainable energy sources, and away from fossil fuel. ExxonMobil can put that in their pipe and smoke it.

      • D Byrd says:

        Let me know when you not only cut out using gasoline and diesel, but also all the other products made from crude oil:

        Jet fuel, Liquefied petroleum gas, Fuel for ships and factories, heating oil, Lubricating oils, waxes, polishes, Bitumen/asphalt for roads and roofing, Chemicals and others including plastics (Ethylene and propylene), alcohol, butyl rubber,…

        which go on to make…
        Clothing Ink, Heart Valves, Medicines, Crayons, Parachutes, Telephones, Enamel, Transparent tape, Antiseptics, Vacuum bottles, Deodorant, Pantyhose, Rubbing Alcohol, Carpets, Epoxy paint, Oil filters, Upholstery, Hearing Aids, Car sound insulation, Cassettes, Motorcycle helmets, Pillows, Shower doors, Shoes, Refrigerator linings, Electrical tape, Safety glass, Awnings, Salad bowl, Rubber cement, Nylon rope, Ice buckets, Fertilizers, Hair coloring, Toilet seats, Denture adhesive, Loudspeakers, Movie film, Fishing boots, Candles, Water pipes, Car enamel, Shower curtains, Credit cards, Aspirin, Golf balls, Detergents, Sunglasses, Glue, Fishing rods, Linoleum, Plastic wood, Soft contact lenses, Trash bags, Hand lotion, Shampoo, Shaving cream, Footballs, Paint brushes, Balloons, Fan belts, Umbrellas, Paint Rollers, Luggage, Antifreeze, Model cars, Floor wax, Sports car bodies, Tires, Dishwashing liquids, Unbreakable dishes, Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Combs, Tents, Hair curlers, Lipstick, Ice cube trays, Electric blankets, Tennis rackets, Drinking cups, House paint, Rollerskate wheels, Guitar strings, Ammonia, Eyeglasses, Ice chests, Life jackets, TV cabinets, Car battery cases, Insect repellent, Refrigerants, Typewriter ribbons, Cold cream, Glycerin, Plywood adhesive, Cameras, Anesthetics, Artificial turf, Artificial Limbs, Bandages, Dentures, Mops, Beach Umbrellas, Ballpoint pens, Boats, Nail polish, Golf bags, Caulking, Tape recorders, Curtains, Vitamin capsules, Dashboards, Putty, Percolators, Skis, Insecticides, Fishing lures, Perfumes, Shoe polish,… read more »

        …Petroleum jelly, Faucet washers, Food preservatives, Antihistamines, Cortisone, Dyes, LP records, Solvents, Roofing

    • aaron huber says:

      Thanks ExxonMobil for this site, its nice to have an outlet for questions and concerns for safety after such a horrible display of incompetence and greed that BP has shown.

      I have many concerns about safety and with the large number of oil rigs in our waters its hard for me to understand why there are not measures in place to regulate them more. I feel, and im sure you agree that stricter regulations are needed to insure this does not happen again. And most importantly a drastic increase in alternative clean energy research and investment, so offshore drilling will become a thing of the past. Afterall Wind and Solar power is much cheaper and cleaner than oil, and its impossible to have a “wind spill” or a “solar leak.”

      Also I think a fund should be put in place where a percentage of the money generated from the offshore drilling already taking place be put aside for environmental causes, as we have seen in the past 2 months there have been 3 leak(the largest of course being BP’s), im sure they will not be the last.

      But Exxon had a major oil spill in the past, and has experience in this process too with what is now the nations second largest oil spill (behind the one that is currently underway in our Gulf Coast). I understand there have been a lot of problems and delays in the settlements Exxon has promised to the people of Alaska… read more »

      …for the horrible destruction the company caused to Alaska’s fragile environment. I’ve read that as late as 2008 Exxon still owed over 383 million in settlement money, and that the company was ordered by the courts to pay it. Lets make sure this does not happen with BP, and they show some corporate responsibility, unlike what we have seen in the past. Lets all look to a future of responsibility and clean, safe practices.

      Thanks for letting me express my views!

      • David Page says:

        Where is the greed BP has shown, exactly? Seriously, you need to back up the boat a bit and think about those words.

        They are engaged in oil exploration and extraction to assist with the supply the 21 million barrels per day needs to satisfy the ever increasing demand for oil in the US. This volume is equivalent to the daily demand for oil in China, India, Japan, Russia and Japan – combined. Now, you were saying something about – greed?

        • aaron huber says:

          Greed, “a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed”

          BP’s profits in 2009 were 14 billion dollars.

          Dave, in my view making decisions based on cost rather than safety when in the context of oil rig as far out and large as the Deep Horizon, with the possible and now present potential for a disaster effecting the entire Gulf Coast, is in fact GREEDY. I’m not sure if you’ve looked into this much but its clear BP took some short cuts to save money (a concern brought up by Congress many many times during their hearing with Tony Hayward).

          Now justifying these risks taken by BP by saying that Americans use more oil than anyone, won’t cut it. If you haven’t noticed there is a bit of a green movement going on, investment in clean energy is on the rise, and encouraged by President Obama. We all want a cleaner alternative to oil, its clear oil is not the fuel of the future and its time to move forward.
          Yes, Americans use too much oil, we know this, but its not an excuse to ignore safety warning to save money. When you have a profit of 14 billion, risking disaster to save a lets just say 10 million for the sake of argument, is in fact a demonstration of “a selfish and excessive desire for more of something than is needed”

      • Ken Cohen says:

        We’ve provided more than $4.3 billion in compensatory payments, cleanup payments, settlements and fines as a result of the Valdez tanker spill, which was a low point in my company’s history. We voluntarily paid $300 million in compensation to more than 11,000 Alaskans and businesses within a year of the spill.

        • aaron huber says:

          Ken,

          I’ve noticed a trend recently, mainly with Tony Hayward (who I do not mean to compare you to) but also here with your response, of quoting these big numbers in payments and settlements your companies have “given” out. The main point I am making is the amount of money your company has NOT given out or in many cases has fought NOT to give out.
          In no way am I an expert in this topic, but I have been following recent events, and looked into past events. From what I understand your company Exxon in 1994 was ordered to pay 5.3 Billion to victims of your spill (Baker vs Exxon). In response your company appealed this decision almost a dozen times, bringing it all the way to the Supreme Court where you again lost but had the settlement reduced to 500 Million. This was in 2008, almost 20 years after your company spilled 11 Million gallons of oil onto Alaskan coastline. Let me also note here that the original judgment was just about equal to 1 year of your company’s profits at the time.

          Its very hard to put a number on the impact your spill has had and is still having on Alaska’s environment, economy and way of life, but ill throw out a few to make my point. . 1,300 Miles of coastline hit by Exxon’s oil, hundreds of thousands of dead wildlife killed by Exxon’s oil, 11,000 square miles… read more »

          …of ocean covered in Exxon’s oil. Let us not forget that the coast line is still to this day damaged as a result of your company’s negligence. In 2001 a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study evaluated the coastline again and found many areas still effected by Exxons oil “a total area of approximately 20 acres of shoreline in Prince William Sound are still contaminated with oil. Oil was found at 58 percent of the 91 sites assessed and is estimated to have the linear equivalent of 5.8 km of contaminated shoreline.” University of North Carolina estimated it might take 30 more years to fully recover from your spill. Im not going to go into the economic impact, or the impact on the way of life of the residents of Alaska but I think we can both agree that referring to it as a “large” impact would be an understatement.

          Ken, please feel free to correct anything i’ve posted here, because again i’m not the expert, and i’m sure you know more about whats going on in your company than Tony Hayward demonstrated he knows about BP in front of congress the other day.

          What im trying to get at here Ken is that though your company did pay out, it fought to pay out and fought for 20 years. Now I understand its cheaper and saves your company money to fight claims rather than paying them, but don’t you think that sometimes when something this big happens, when so many peoples lives are effected, jobs lost, environment destroyed, the company bottom line should take second seat to doing the right thing? In the Baker vs Exxon case we are talking 1 years profit I don’t think that is too much to ask when all things are considered.

  50. B S says:

    In a way there may be some positive outcomes by having this disaster occur. It has placed a visual measurement on the volume of oil we require to serve our daily lifestyles and shows us a startling irrefutable environmental impact that can and does occur. This disaster could well be a catalyst for people to change their habits which depend on fossil fuels.

    Aside from containing and mopping up the spill is there any likely hood the spilt oil will be reused or refined? If not what is the usual practice with the spilt waste oil?

  51. matt youn says:

    While I support the oil industry in its efforts (I am a BP and TOTAL shareholder) .. to supply our energy needs… lets not lose perspective in that your ultimate goal and obligation is for th enrichment of shareholders (as it should be). I am a little skeptical on your assertion that the events in the Gulf are far from the norm… however you may want to define that. The fact of the matter is that these black swan events can and will occur and the public needs to understand that. Just see what happened to Nuclear industry in this country… contrast that with what the French would say regarding the safety of nuclear power. So pontification and demagoguery adds little to solutions at this point.