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A real-life thriller in the tradition of The Perfect Storm In the spring of 2010 the world watched for weeks as more than 200 million gallons of crude oil billowed from a hole three miles deep in the Gulf of Mexico. Warnings of various and imminent environmental consequences dominated the news. Deepwater drilling—largely ignored or misunderstood to that point—exploded A real-life thriller in the tradition of The Perfect Storm In the spring of 2010 the world watched for weeks as more than 200 million gallons of crude oil billowed from a hole three miles deep in the Gulf of Mexico. Warnings of various and imminent environmental consequences dominated the news. Deepwater drilling—largely ignored or misunderstood to that point—exploded in the American consciousness in the worst way possible. Fire on the Horizon, written by veteran oil rig captain John Konrad and longtime Washington Post journalist Tom Shroder, recounts in vivid detail the life of the rig itself, from its construction in South Korea in the year 2000 to its improbable journey around the world to its disastrous end, and reveals the day-to-day lives, struggles, and ambitions of those who called it home. From the little-known maritime colleges to Transocean's training schools and Houston headquarters to the small towns all over the country where the wives and children of the Horizon's crew lived in the ever-present shadow of risk hundreds of miles away, Fire on the Horizon offers full-scale portraits of the Horizon's captain, its chief mate, its chief mechanic, and others. What emerges is a white-knuckled chronicle of engineering hubris at odds with the earth itself, an unusual manifestation of corporate greed and the unforgettable heroism of the men and women on board the Deepwater Horizon. Here is the harrowing minute-by-minute account of the fateful day, April 20, 2010, when the half-billion-dollar rig blew up, taking with it the lives of eleven people and leaving behind a swath of unprecedented natural destruction.


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A real-life thriller in the tradition of The Perfect Storm In the spring of 2010 the world watched for weeks as more than 200 million gallons of crude oil billowed from a hole three miles deep in the Gulf of Mexico. Warnings of various and imminent environmental consequences dominated the news. Deepwater drilling—largely ignored or misunderstood to that point—exploded A real-life thriller in the tradition of The Perfect Storm In the spring of 2010 the world watched for weeks as more than 200 million gallons of crude oil billowed from a hole three miles deep in the Gulf of Mexico. Warnings of various and imminent environmental consequences dominated the news. Deepwater drilling—largely ignored or misunderstood to that point—exploded in the American consciousness in the worst way possible. Fire on the Horizon, written by veteran oil rig captain John Konrad and longtime Washington Post journalist Tom Shroder, recounts in vivid detail the life of the rig itself, from its construction in South Korea in the year 2000 to its improbable journey around the world to its disastrous end, and reveals the day-to-day lives, struggles, and ambitions of those who called it home. From the little-known maritime colleges to Transocean's training schools and Houston headquarters to the small towns all over the country where the wives and children of the Horizon's crew lived in the ever-present shadow of risk hundreds of miles away, Fire on the Horizon offers full-scale portraits of the Horizon's captain, its chief mate, its chief mechanic, and others. What emerges is a white-knuckled chronicle of engineering hubris at odds with the earth itself, an unusual manifestation of corporate greed and the unforgettable heroism of the men and women on board the Deepwater Horizon. Here is the harrowing minute-by-minute account of the fateful day, April 20, 2010, when the half-billion-dollar rig blew up, taking with it the lives of eleven people and leaving behind a swath of unprecedented natural destruction.

30 review for Fire On The Horizon: The Untold Story Of The Gulf Oil Disaster

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Erickson

    I finished reading Fire on the Horizon last night and in my attempt to sum up the events surrounding the sinking of the oil rig Deepwater Horizon I’ve chosen “complicated.” Don’t read that as my take on the book itself; no, this single word is aimed at undertaking the nearly impossible task of drilling some 3+ miles under the sea floor looking for oil all without “something” going wrong. Fire on the Horizon is an awesome journey following the birth, and eventual death, of the oil rig Deepwate I finished reading Fire on the Horizon last night and in my attempt to sum up the events surrounding the sinking of the oil rig Deepwater Horizon I’ve chosen “complicated.” Don’t read that as my take on the book itself; no, this single word is aimed at undertaking the nearly impossible task of drilling some 3+ miles under the sea floor looking for oil all without “something” going wrong. Fire on the Horizon is an awesome journey following the birth, and eventual death, of the oil rig Deepwater Horizon; it explores the complexities of finding, drilling, and extracting oil all while giving the reader a look into the lives of those who made/make it possible. John Konrad and Tom Shroder masterfully pull you inside the lives of the rig workers and their sacrifices to give you a personal understanding of how the Deepwater Horizon operated. I admit my knowledge prior to- and even since- 20 April 2010, when the Deepwater Horizon caught fire, of how an oil rig works and its dangers eluded me. My positions in the Coast Guard thus far hadn’t afforded me the opportunity to go the path of understanding the “how” and “why” of a rig. Thus this book could be looked at as an introductory text-book of sort. The text is laden with just enough technical geekery to let you understand the drilling world without getting into the weeds and losing the reader. I highly recommend this for anyone looking to better understand not only why the Deepwater Horizon sank but to also view the intricacies that go into each drilling operation.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Noladishu

    X-Posted @ Noladishu: http://noladishu.blogspot.com/2012/07... ************ It's about 2 years since everyone was glued to their TV's watching ROV's try and plug a hole in the bottom of the sea. Since then, numerous books have been published chronicling the explosion and the spill. Here are just a few writups of the multitude of books: 9 Books - LA Times Publishers have no shortage of books - NY Times In Book Form - MoJo Each book focuses on a slightly different aspect of the disaster. After reading a X-Posted @ Noladishu: http://noladishu.blogspot.com/2012/07... ************ It's about 2 years since everyone was glued to their TV's watching ROV's try and plug a hole in the bottom of the sea. Since then, numerous books have been published chronicling the explosion and the spill. Here are just a few writups of the multitude of books: 9 Books - LA Times Publishers have no shortage of books - NY Times In Book Form - MoJo Each book focuses on a slightly different aspect of the disaster. After reading a few reviews, I chose Fire On The Horizon: The Untold Story Of The Gulf Oil Disaster by John Konrad and Tom Schroder. Konrad holds an Unlimited Master's licence and has worked for many years on oil rigs. In his off time, he started a Maritime site called GCaptain. It's actually how I first heard about the Deepwater Horizon fire (one of the reasons I picked the book; they beat everyone else to the punch). The book gives excellent background to the leadup to the disaster. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on the rig's construction in a South Korean shipyard. The maritime background of Konrad helps out a lot. The book nails the maritime aspects of the disaster. Konrad also knew some of the members of the crew, since he worked for Transocean for a time and graduated CUNY Maritime at about the same time as some of the maritime crew. The cultural aspects of life onboard a rig, while probably not telling 100% true stories, does convey the culture pretty well. They do a good job in humanizing the crew of the rig. I have two big criticisms of the book. First, the book is overly kind to the boots on the ground. Normally, I'd agree, but I'm not quite sure in this case. I think there is some blame that deserves to say with the field team. The book also really lets Captain Kutcha off light (although I believe Konrad was friends with Ktucha, so there's one explanation). The other criticism is when they get to the complicated petroleum engineering of the actual well construction, it's just a poorly written summary of David Hammer's writing. They lean on the Picayune's writing without giving anything new nor do they even properly summarize it. It takes them more than half of the book to even get to the drilling operations. Pages 128-130 really needs some editing because it's clunky and if I didn't know exactly what they were trying to explain before I read a sentence, I'd be lost. That was pretty disappointing. I'll hunt for another book to compliment that part.* There's also very little coverage of the oil spill (the first half is background, then 1/3 is the actual Macondo well and fire, then the balance is aftermath, spill, widows, etc.). There's also one thing that I knew about, but didn't realize. What did the Titanic and the Deepwater Horizon have in common? Not enough lifeboat space. A major problem with current lifeboat standards is IMO rules on dictate lifeboat design based off "50th-percentile" standards. In other words, the lifeboat design is only meant to accommodate the average member of the public (~160 lbs.), not the average rig hand. On a Gulf of Mexico rig, almost everyone weighs at least 180 lbs. and there's guaranteed to be at least a few 280-300 lbs workers. The Deepwater Horizon only tested its full lifeboat capacity once in Korea, and that was with 110-lb. Koreans. Once in the Gulf of Mexico, given the larger crew, the Deepwater Horizon couldn't actually conduct a full evacuation without resorting to the use of inflatable rafts. If you also had any seriously injured personnel on a stretcher, you'd lose another 6 seats per stretcher on top of that! This isn't something new. I heard about this years ago. Here's an International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) notice from before the Deepwater Horizon incident: Anthropomorphic compatibility. Most SOLAS-approved lifeboats have been approved on the basis of an assumed occupant mass of 75 kg (≈ 165 lb). The IMO has recently revised its requirements to increase the assumed occupant mass for lifeboats on most new installations to 82.5 kg (≈ 182 lb). IMO did not alter the associated seat width standard, which remains 430 mm (≈ 17 in), when increasing the assumed occupant mass to 82.5 kg. A so-called “Gulf of Mexico standard” is being used by some that assumes an occupant weight of 210 lbs (≈ 95 kg) with a corresponding seat width of 21 in (≈ 530 mm). This matter is also being addressed by coastal State authorities in the North Sea. Every project I've worked on has used 220-240 lbs. as an average weight. A company I work for actually did a survey of their employees entitled "How Big is Bubba's Butt" that was the source of the higher figure. It's also common to leave room for one stretcher without compromising seating capacity. Also, davit-launched inflatable liferafts are unreasonably complicated to use in an emergency situation. Every large Gulf of Mexico installation should be audited to ensure that they can actually conduct an evacuation in a realistic manner. Tests should be robust (a sign of a nice and rigorous test is failure, like this one). Not leaving enough margin for actual crew weight or overly complicated launching isn't sufficient. _____________ * Debating between Bob Cavnar's book and Achenbach's book. Anyone read either?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    What often seemed forgotten were the eleven men who lost their lives during the explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon. In “Fire on the Horizon: The Untold Story of the Gulf Oil Disaster”, authors John Konrad and Tom Shroder make sure their stories, as well as the stories of the survivors, are told. Konrad, an oil rig captain, worked for Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon, and knew many of the people who worked on Horizon. His blog, gCaptain.com, was an immediate source of inform What often seemed forgotten were the eleven men who lost their lives during the explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon. In “Fire on the Horizon: The Untold Story of the Gulf Oil Disaster”, authors John Konrad and Tom Shroder make sure their stories, as well as the stories of the survivors, are told. Konrad, an oil rig captain, worked for Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon, and knew many of the people who worked on Horizon. His blog, gCaptain.com, was an immediate source of information on the blast, as people working on a supply ship near the Horizon who witnessed the explosion sent photos and updates to his blog. Konrad and Shroder, a former editor and writer at the Washington Post, teamed up to tell this incredible story, which will appeal to anyone who enjoyed Sebastian Junger’s “The Perfect Storm”. (Junger even contributes a blurb for the book.) While both books put the reader right in the middle of the disasters, “Fire on the Horizon” has the advantage of the first-hand stories of the survivors. The section of the book that deals with the actual explosion is so harrowing, your heart will pound and your pulse will race as you read the minute-by-minute account from the people who survived it. The writing is so intense, I could almost feel the unbearable heat and the confusion of the people on that rig as they raced to save themselves and their coworkers from this disaster. Dave Young is one of the most interesting men on the rig. He graduated from the oldest maritime college in the country, SUNY Maritime College. He is “short and tough, supremely self-confident, (and) perfectly represented the scrappy, resourceful, unruly spirit of his college, little known even in its own southeastern Bronx neighborhood.” Young was the chief mate on the ship, and among his responsibilities was to direct the emergency response and firefighting. He had to convince the captain it was time to abandon ship when all attempts to fight the fire were futile. He and a few others narrowly escaped on a life raft that was caught tethered to the rig, and their account of nearly being overcome by heat and fire is frightening. The authors balance the technical aspects of oil rig drilling with the humanity of the people who work on them. They begin the book with the launching of the Deepwater Horizon from the place where it was built. We meet the crew in charge of sailing it from Korea in 2001, around the southern tip of Africa, a fifteen thousand mile trip to the Gulf of Mexico, before it even can begin to do the job for which it was designed. The technical aspects of oil drilling are clearly explained, and there are excellent photos and drawings of the blowout preventer that failed and caused the explosion. The Deepwater Horizon was almost ten years old at the time of the accident, and the age of the rig contributed to accident, as did cuts in the maintenance and human resource budgets from BP and Transocean. “Fire on the Horizon” is fascinating, explaining to the reader in understandable terms how this disaster happened, and bringing to life the people who worked on the rig. It successfully combines the technical and human aspects of the story, and the minute-by-minute retelling of the disaster itself, from the first-hand account of survivors, is as harrowing a story as you’ll ever read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    cait

    This book had some very definite pros & cons. While the author was very obviously highly educated on the topic & had put in A TON of in-depth research, I found that some explanations of parts & how they worked were a bit long-winded, especially when it came to how important those detailed descriptions were to my understanding of what happened aboard the Event Horizon. This story, like the other nonfiction book I've read this year, was super dedicated to sharing every detail, even when the details This book had some very definite pros & cons. While the author was very obviously highly educated on the topic & had put in A TON of in-depth research, I found that some explanations of parts & how they worked were a bit long-winded, especially when it came to how important those detailed descriptions were to my understanding of what happened aboard the Event Horizon. This story, like the other nonfiction book I've read this year, was super dedicated to sharing every detail, even when the details maybe weren't absolutely necessary. As indicated by my status updates, the middle of this book was difficult for me to get through. I may have felt differently if I worked in the industry or was mechanically minded, but as a curious reader who just wanted to learn about the 2010 oil disaster, I was dazed, confused, & bored out of my mind. That being said, the ending of this story was everything I'd hoped it would be: Fast-paced, sad, scary, & shocking. It didn't matter what the "mud" was made out of or what DROPS stood for, all that mattered was what went wrong, how it could have been prevented, & what happened as a result. Condolences to the families still struggling in the aftermath of this horrible accident & much gratitude to the author for sharing with the world just how many failsafes failed in a row & allowed this to happen. When you put profits over maintenance & money over safety, your priorities are wrong & bad things happen.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mrs Lorna Pidduck

    I believe that there is no ‘absolute truth’ when it comes to a book or a film about an event like this. It is well documented that many people, involved in the same horrific situation, will have different recollections of the same event. Therefore the truth for one will be different than that of the truth for another. I have watched the film Deepwater Horizon and I have watched the 60 minutes interview (2010:Blowout:The Deepwater Horizon Disaster) with Mike Williams (plus other shorter interviews I believe that there is no ‘absolute truth’ when it comes to a book or a film about an event like this. It is well documented that many people, involved in the same horrific situation, will have different recollections of the same event. Therefore the truth for one will be different than that of the truth for another. I have watched the film Deepwater Horizon and I have watched the 60 minutes interview (2010:Blowout:The Deepwater Horizon Disaster) with Mike Williams (plus other shorter interviews) With that as my background information for comparison I have to say that that feel this book is pretty damned accurate. There are a few discrepancies towards the end between interview and movie, but nothing to get in a tiz about. The author wasn’t on the Deepwater Horizon at the time, but is/was a veteran in his field and provided an in-depth account of how an oil rig is built and manoeuvred into position. Plus lovely little extras on how oil is formed. (Not by dinosaurs apparently, which is what I was taught) There are lots of details for the lay person to deal with but the author explains them well. The narrator is excellent and I recommend this audiobook.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    This book is amazing! I picked it up with the wary sense that it could be a bit dry, but man, was I pleasantly surprised! I tore through it in two nights, staying up much later than I should have because I just couldn't put it down. I was drawn to the book with the voyeuristic intention of reading an insider's account of the gulf oil disaster, but came away with so much more. Konrad and Shroder have a unique ability to explain complex technical information in a way that is not only understandable This book is amazing! I picked it up with the wary sense that it could be a bit dry, but man, was I pleasantly surprised! I tore through it in two nights, staying up much later than I should have because I just couldn't put it down. I was drawn to the book with the voyeuristic intention of reading an insider's account of the gulf oil disaster, but came away with so much more. Konrad and Shroder have a unique ability to explain complex technical information in a way that is not only understandable, but interesting to the most uninformed and least technically-savvy of readers. Konrad's personal ties to members of the Deepwater Horizon's crew lends a fascinating personal touch. The authors skillfully weave gripping personal background about the crew with technical explanations of drilling and information about the industry. The interplay of these elements not only gives the reader a deep understanding of the people and events involved, but fosters a very high level of reader interest. I highly recommend this book for experts and laypeople alike!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marty Greenwell

    Sebastian Junger of the Perfect Storm really liked it. It reads like a novel but you know the disastrous end. It doesn't preach about who is responsible but subtly points the finger at BP for wanting to finish out the tough well and save money with Transocean, the rig operator doing somwehat the same. It's a story of regular smart guys following procedure but bending analysis and rules to what they want the outcome to be. It's the story of the lives of several members of the crew from the SUNY M Sebastian Junger of the Perfect Storm really liked it. It reads like a novel but you know the disastrous end. It doesn't preach about who is responsible but subtly points the finger at BP for wanting to finish out the tough well and save money with Transocean, the rig operator doing somwehat the same. It's a story of regular smart guys following procedure but bending analysis and rules to what they want the outcome to be. It's the story of the lives of several members of the crew from the SUNY Maritine Academy to Korea to where the Deepwater Horizon was built, to the home lives of these men who work three weeks on and three weeks off, and finally to the last day that went so wrong. Of heroism and stupidity. Good disaster story. Not surprised at all that it got a 4.28 on Goodreads.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jake

    Great book very imformative, I learned things about oil drilling that I had no idea about. Also details the lives of the drillers that lost their life's, makes them human instead of just a number or a statistic.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marcia Konrad

    Wonderfully thrilling and informative. A must read!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kurt Schwehr

    A bit hard for me to read because I was drafted into working on the oil spill, but a great book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jason Morrison

    Having seen the movie Deepwater Horizon a couple of times, I became curious about how much the actual events in the movie were truly what happened or not during the BP oil spill back in 2010. I was expecting a book that started and stopped when the movie did, but I was pleasantly surprised that nearly the first half of the book was spent setting up all of the failures that ultimately led to the disaster. Sadly, a lot of the detailed research and explanation as to how the rig functioned was over my Having seen the movie Deepwater Horizon a couple of times, I became curious about how much the actual events in the movie were truly what happened or not during the BP oil spill back in 2010. I was expecting a book that started and stopped when the movie did, but I was pleasantly surprised that nearly the first half of the book was spent setting up all of the failures that ultimately led to the disaster. Sadly, a lot of the detailed research and explanation as to how the rig functioned was over my head, despite being written so well by the author. I just wasn't meant to understand deep water oil rigs. That being said, the level of detail offered by the author was fascinating and I thoroughly enjoyed trying to keep up. The book was well researched, thought out, and explained. Even though this is not a topic that I would normally crave to read, I found it very important. Not just because it describes a mentality and culture that led to such a disaster, but because it was critical to remember the people that lost their lives just doing their job.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    This was a good book overall, but I have two non-trivial complaints. 1) While the book has a photographic insert, most of the photos are crew pictures, or shots of the rig on fire. This was a book that desperately cried out for frequent illustrations to clarify some of the activities being described in the text. The author makes a good effort, but some of well construction operations just aren't clearly conveyed in description, making it hard to understand what's happening. 2) While the title of t This was a good book overall, but I have two non-trivial complaints. 1) While the book has a photographic insert, most of the photos are crew pictures, or shots of the rig on fire. This was a book that desperately cried out for frequent illustrations to clarify some of the activities being described in the text. The author makes a good effort, but some of well construction operations just aren't clearly conveyed in description, making it hard to understand what's happening. 2) While the title of the book refers to the Gulf oil disaster, the primary author is a former oil rig worker, and his focus is entirely on the Deepwater Horizon rig and crew, so the book effectively ends once the surviving crew are safely home. Little is said about the blowout apart from its effects on the rig, and the resulting oil spill and effort to control it is left almost completely unmentioned. While I acknowledge that for the rig's crew their main concern was probably their near-death at sea, the consequences of the accident extend so much further that it seems absurd not to cover them.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sue-Lynn Voigt

    This book is something I usually do not read. But I enjoyed it, the book does get a bit bogged down in technical passages near the end. I wish there been an addition to the book (written in 2011) as to how the survivors and those left behind are doing now. This book hit a heart string with me. Being from Louisiana and many high school and college friends worked as roughnecks summers and between school. Glad I read it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Vs Parani

    More than just a narration of events. It's about decision making in an unstable environment, often with limited information, and the well intentioned people who make them. The combined experience and insights of authors Captain John Konrad and Tom Shroder make it a compelling read. The complete book review can be found here: https://www.parani.org/index.php?opti... More than just a narration of events. It's about decision making in an unstable environment, often with limited information, and the well intentioned people who make them. The combined experience and insights of authors Captain John Konrad and Tom Shroder make it a compelling read. The complete book review can be found here: https://www.parani.org/index.php?opti...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Naylor

    3.5 stars Spoiler alert, this is not like typical disaster books that I enjoy reading and gaining more knowledge about. The oil rig doesn't explode til near the end of the book and there is very little talk about the cover up, BPs response, cleanup, repercussions, etc. It gets bogged down in the middle talking about the various parts of the oil rig that were confusing and ultimately unnecessary.

  16. 5 out of 5

    alphonse p guardino

    Found the book very readable, and a good mix of the experiences of a number of those involved and the technical aspects of offshore oil drilling. The print edition was not available, so I read the Kindle version. Unfortunately that made the book’s illustrations near impossible to see well (not the authors’ fault!). The Internet filled in that gap for me.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Toni Salyers

    Informative and heartbreaking I loved this book more than the movie because the author included a great many details and made clear exactly what happened in the Horizon. A great read

  18. 5 out of 5

    Troy Ward

    Not bad Not a bad book. A lot of detail leading up to the incident (although a little technical at times) but surprisingly little about the incident and recovery itself.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nacho

    Fascinating, but it should have an accompanying website with diagrams and illustrations. 😅

  20. 4 out of 5

    Philip Hollenback

    I didn't bother to check, but I assume this book was the basis of the movie Deepwater Horizon. If you liked the movie, you will like the book. There's definitely more personal drama in this book than technical detail.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gregg Sapp

    I recently wrote a comparative review of six recent books that were about British Petroleum's Deep Water Horizon blowout and the resulting oil spill tragedy. Among them, this book is my most highly recommended for a number of reasons. First, it is written by an author who worked on offshore oil rigs, and who personally knew many of the people on the DeepWater Horizon. He captures the culture and technology of the roughnecks in a vivid, empathetic way. Second, although other books do a more thoro I recently wrote a comparative review of six recent books that were about British Petroleum's Deep Water Horizon blowout and the resulting oil spill tragedy. Among them, this book is my most highly recommended for a number of reasons. First, it is written by an author who worked on offshore oil rigs, and who personally knew many of the people on the DeepWater Horizon. He captures the culture and technology of the roughnecks in a vivid, empathetic way. Second, although other books do a more thorough job investigating BP's business model and how it contributed to neglect, Konrad & Shroder get down to the dirty details about what went wrong, from an eyewitnesses point of view. Third, even though the reader knows the outcome of this tragedy, the story is told in such a gripping, personal way that it takes on the momentum of a thriller and a real page-turner. For the entire review, see: http://www.suite101.com/functions/art...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    Excellent introduction to off shore drilling rigs and the process. Only the last few chapters deal with the Deep Water Horizon/Macondo incident specifically but more than sufficient to leave the reader with the impression that self-regulation and oversight of environmentally sensitive operations such as this is not in the public interest. The book clearly demonstrates the industry's emphasis (and BP's in particular)on bottom line profit to the detriment of safety and good practice. (an emphasis Excellent introduction to off shore drilling rigs and the process. Only the last few chapters deal with the Deep Water Horizon/Macondo incident specifically but more than sufficient to leave the reader with the impression that self-regulation and oversight of environmentally sensitive operations such as this is not in the public interest. The book clearly demonstrates the industry's emphasis (and BP's in particular)on bottom line profit to the detriment of safety and good practice. (an emphasis my wife-an oil and gas accountant can attest to.) Macondo was not BP's first example of such neglect but was presaged by safety and environmental damage in North slope operations. My only wish is that there would have been more diagrams of the equipment and well processes discussed.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    I read this because, although I have been surrounded by news of the BP oil spill due to my location in Louisiana, I have never read a start to finish account of the whys and hows of this disaster. It was very readable, and was a very thorough start-to-finish account, starting with the building of the Horizon rig in Korea, and continuing up through the explosions and rescue of the survivors. The epilogue finishes off the biographies of a few of the main characters in the book. The end of the book I read this because, although I have been surrounded by news of the BP oil spill due to my location in Louisiana, I have never read a start to finish account of the whys and hows of this disaster. It was very readable, and was a very thorough start-to-finish account, starting with the building of the Horizon rig in Korea, and continuing up through the explosions and rescue of the survivors. The epilogue finishes off the biographies of a few of the main characters in the book. The end of the book is in fact the only bad thing about it. The book ends oddly and abruptly, as though the last chapter was submitted at the very print deadline, and there was no time to add any more. Anyway, recommended if you're looking for a quick, readable account of the 2010 Gulf oil disaster.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    First off, Keeping this book a neutral re-telling is a large challenge. I do think the author mostly succeeded by focusing on the people working on the rig and their lives. In that sense the book was more a team biography than an analysis of what happened before and after the disaster. I would have enjoyed a few extra chapters on the cleanup and an insiders view on the learnings from the disaster. If I may attempt to summarise the last topic. Disaster doesn't strike because people get the complic First off, Keeping this book a neutral re-telling is a large challenge. I do think the author mostly succeeded by focusing on the people working on the rig and their lives. In that sense the book was more a team biography than an analysis of what happened before and after the disaster. I would have enjoyed a few extra chapters on the cleanup and an insiders view on the learnings from the disaster. If I may attempt to summarise the last topic. Disaster doesn't strike because people get the complicated things wrong, it's usually the simple things but combined with a fast paced high pressure environment : incentives, behaviour, collection of small oversights can combine with disastrous events Worth a read for people in the oil industry and /or the engineering field

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rich

    After seeing the movie Deepwater Horizon, I wanted to delve further into the story of the disaster. John Konrad's book is well written (it's co-authored by a professional journalist), exploring the human stories of those who worked and lived onboard the Horizon as well as the technical end of deepwater oil drilling. The latter is often explained in great detail; the accompanying photo section includes diagrams that help give a rough idea of the incredible complexity involved. There is a slew of After seeing the movie Deepwater Horizon, I wanted to delve further into the story of the disaster. John Konrad's book is well written (it's co-authored by a professional journalist), exploring the human stories of those who worked and lived onboard the Horizon as well as the technical end of deepwater oil drilling. The latter is often explained in great detail; the accompanying photo section includes diagrams that help give a rough idea of the incredible complexity involved. There is a slew of books on the subject; this was among those well-reviewed elsewhere.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nguyen Hai

    when I bought the book, I expected it to be a smt full of technical detail about the worst environmental disaster. However, what I got was a story, a good story about the life of all the people on board the Horizon. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed at first but then I realized the same thing that the author has shown us in the end: what we will all remember about this disaster is its effect on environment, we will all forget about the Horizon's crew and their family, how their life have ch when I bought the book, I expected it to be a smt full of technical detail about the worst environmental disaster. However, what I got was a story, a good story about the life of all the people on board the Horizon. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed at first but then I realized the same thing that the author has shown us in the end: what we will all remember about this disaster is its effect on environment, we will all forget about the Horizon's crew and their family, how their life have changed forever.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Hopper

    Good book, spends a lot of time on the development and construction of the rig itself and some of the crew that were later involved in the blowout. I did feel that the book could have delved more in to the technical side of deepwater drilling and the engineering and science behind what differentiates a good well vs bad. It was also thin on the technical details on the troubles at the Macando site. Still waiting on a definitive book to be written about this disaster.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    Learned a bit about off-shore drilling, fairly well presented for the layman, but too much time before the dramatic events, and you almost got the feeling that the researchers did this book on the fly, as it wasn't as well detailed in covering all of what happened aboard the rig, or really dealt evenly with all the participants. . .almost as if this project was rushed.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    This is fascinating and i got about 1/2 way through but the engineering side of the rig repairs and daily goings on became too intense for me to understand. Seriously technical, this book does succeed in explaining how completely complex oil drilling in the ocean really is.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Trey Palmer

    Great account of the disaster from the perspective of the men who dealt with it most immediately: the personnel aboard the Deepwater Horizon when the well blew. Chronicles the chain of events aboard the rig and in the boardroom leading to the spectacular failure of the Macondo well.

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