The Exxon Valdez and BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spills: Reducing Risk in Socio-Technical Systems

TitleThe Exxon Valdez and BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spills: Reducing Risk in Socio-Technical Systems
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsSylves RT, Comfort LK
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Volume56
Pagination76-103
Date PublishedJan
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0002-7642
Accession NumberWOS:000300574800004
KeywordsDeepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Oil and Gas Degradation, Various Oil Spills
AbstractOne way to assess whether governments and industry (at any level) learn from their disaster experience is to examine two similar events at different points in time. The authors investigate and compare the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster with the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster to determine whether oil spill prevention and oil spill risk management have advanced over time. The study recounts facts, analyzes features of both incidents, and offers an intergovernmental interpretation of changes in policy and practice over four decades of oil spill management informed by theories of nested sets, distributed cognition, and socio-technical systems.
DOI10.1177/0002764211413116