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Disaster On The Horizon: High Stakes, High Risks, And The Story Behind The Deepwater Well Blowout

Disaster on the Horizon is a behind-the-scenes investigative look at the worst oil well accident in US history, which led to the current environmental and economic catastrophe on the Gulf Coast. Cavnar uses his 30 years in the business to take readers inside the disaster, exposing the decisions leading up to the blowout and the immediate aftermath. It includes personal accounts of the survivors, assembled from testimony during various investigations, as well as personal interviews with survivors, witnesses, and family. It also provides a layman's look at the industry, its technology, people, and risks. It deconstructs events and decisions made by BP, Transocean, and the US Government before and after the disaster, and the effects of those decisions, both good and bad.

Paperback: 230 pages

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing; 1 edition (October 22, 2010)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1603583165

ISBN-13: 978-1603583169

Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8.4 inches

Shipping Weight: 13.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #218,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #24 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Energy Production & Extraction > Drilling Procedures #30 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Civil & Environmental > Environmental > Pollution #33 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Energy Production & Extraction > Fossil Fuels > Petroleum

Two hundred fifty miles northwest of the Deep Horizon -The first signs appeared in late spring. Holes developed on leaves on trees and plants in gardens. Leaves turned white and soon crumbled into dust. And we recognized a truth: The disaster that was the Deep Horizon well would have consequences far beyond those being reported in the mainstream media. We knew that millions of gallons of oil could not have been consumed by hungry microbes. We knew that Gulf seafood, once the pride of our tables, was no longer safe to consume.We hoped that BP's promises to clean up their mess would be fulfilled. We hoped that our government would protect the people and the environment of the Gulf. Now we see that our hopes will not be realized, that the destruction of the Gulf Coast, begun by Katrina and Rita, will be finalized by Deep Horizon.But what happened that led to such catastrophe? How could so many `fail-safe' systems have failed and led to the deaths of 11 men and the destruction of an entire regional economy? Bob Cavnar, an oilman with decades of hands-on experience in the oil and gas industry in addition to academic credentials, gives us the information we weren't getting before.His is a tale of greed, carelessness, and deception. Unfortunately, it's no work of fiction but a chronicle of events that led up to and beyond the worst oil spill in US history. Cavnar explains not only what happened on the Deep Horizon but the history of well blowouts and what should be done to prevent such disasters from occurring in the future.Read this book for a clearer understanding of deep water drilling. Read it to grasp the collusion between BP and the US government. Read it to understand where we're heading as a nation dependent on oil.

If you want to learn the details about this disaster, unless you have to read about it right now, you are probably best waiting for a better book. This book is fine, it is written by an oil drilling insider and does cite sources, but it is incomplete, jumbled, and may be biased in several ways. The writing style can best be considered conversational, but swearing and dropping the F-bomb is, to use another of the author's expressions "quite a doozy" in a serious book. Cavnar seems to be showing off his inside knowledge, rather than working harder to set the scene or explain the mechanisms. I never really felt like "I was there." And the book certainly does not have enough serious explorations of cause and history to make this a definitive study.On some issues the author shows he is out of his depth. The "most common cause of aircraft accidents" is certainly not "running out of fuel" (page 45). His physics is off stating hydraulic rams closed with "explosive force--as much as 5,000 psi" (p 39). That widows would say after the tragedy their husbands had experienced premonitions is not objective evidence (p 32). And I was looking for more insight than "that night, everything that could go wrong did go wrong." A better book will explain how the Deepwater Horizon fits into Charles Perrow's Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies paradigm. A better book will read more like Diane Vaughan's

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