A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea: The Race to Kill the BP Oil Gusher (2020)

A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea: The Race to Kill the BP Oil Gusher Joel Achenbach A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea The Race to Kill the BP Oil Gusher It was a technological crisis in an alien realm a blown out oil well in mile deep water in the Gulf of Mexico For the engineers who had to kill the well this was like Apollo a crisis no one saw c
  • Title: A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea: The Race to Kill the BP Oil Gusher
  • Author: Joel Achenbach
  • ISBN: 9781451625349
  • Page: 303
  • Format: Hardcover
A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea: The Race to Kill the BP Oil Gusher Joel Achenbach It was a technological crisis in an alien realm a blown out oil well in mile deep water in the Gulf of Mexico For the engineers who had to kill the well, this was like Apollo 13, a crisis no one saw coming, and one of untold danger and challenge A suspense story, a mystery, a technological thriller This is Joel Achenbach s groundbreaking account of the Deepwater HorizoIt was a technological crisis in an alien realm a blown out oil well in mile deep water in the Gulf of Mexico For the engineers who had to kill the well, this was like Apollo 13, a crisis no one saw coming, and one of untold danger and challenge A suspense story, a mystery, a technological thriller This is Joel Achenbach s groundbreaking account of the Deepwater Horizon disaster and what came after The tragic explosion on the huge drilling rig in April 2010 killed eleven men and triggered an environmental disaster As a gusher of crude surged into the Gulf s waters, BP engineers and government scientists awkwardly teamed in Houston raced to devise ways to plug the Macondo well Achenbach, a veteran reporter for The Washington Post and acclaimed science writer for National Geographic, moves beyond the blame game to tell the gripping story of what it was like, behind the scenes, moment by moment, in the struggle to kill Macondo Here are the controversies, the miscalculations, the frustrations, and ultimately the technical triumphs of men and women who worked out of sight and around the clock for months to find a way to plug the well The Deepwater Horizon disaster was an environmental 9 11 The government did not have the means to solve the problem only the private sector had the tools, and it didn t have the right ones as the country became haunted by Macondo s black plume, which was omnipresent on TV and the Internet Remotely operated vehicles, the spaceships of the deep, had to perform the challenging technical ma neuvers on the seafloor Engineers choreographed this robotic ballet and crammed years of innovation into a single summer As he describes the drama in Houston, Achenbach probes the government investigation into what went wrong in the deep sea This was a confounding mystery, an engineering whodunit The lessons of this tragedy can be applied broadly to all complex enterprises and should make us look closely at the highly engineered society that surrounds us Achenbach has written a cautionary tale that doubles as a technological thriller.
A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea: The Race to Kill the BP Oil Gusher Joel Achenbach

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    303 Joel Achenbach
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    Published :2020-04-01T17:53:59+00:00

One thought on “A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea: The Race to Kill the BP Oil Gusher

  1. Christy

    Joel Achenbach is a Washington Post staff writer who was assigned to cover the BP oil spill in 2010 In this book, armed with information provided by the Marine Board of Investigation, government emails, and interviews, Achenbach guides readers through the events of this massive environmental disaster The book starts with the events of April 20, 2010 when the BP leased Transocean rig, the Deepwater Horizon, exploded in flames, killing eleven people Achenbach then covers both the technical and pol [...]

  2. Kay

    If you watched the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf, day after day, you might think there s not much to gain by reading a book that recounts the disaster However, Achenbach s writing is so lively, and his ability to explain drilling techniques and the chemistry of petroleum is so good that I have to rate this as one of the best books I ve read this year.He is passionate but fair and conveys great respect for the engineers and scientists who fought desperately to bring the Macondo well unde [...]

  3. Philip Hollenback

    This book was a fairly decent and somewhat technical overview of the Deepwater Horizon disaster It starts when the rig sunk but mostly covers the months and months BP the government tried to figure out how to stop the gusher.I recommend you read Fire On The Horizon The Untold Story Of The Gulf Oil Disaster before reading this book, because it does a much better job of explaining the technical details.

  4. Erwinpantel

    Interesting and insightfulA very interesting telling of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, with particular focus on the efforts after the blowout and sinking of the rig to stop the oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico Very interesting look at the overall complexity of modern technological systems that make serious problems like the blowout and oil rig disaster that killed 11 men and possibly fully unknowable environmental damage should not be unexpected.

  5. Angie

    This was a gripping book It brought back very vivid memories of that summer, and accurately captured the feeling that pervaded the atmosphere the desperation, the despair, the sickening nausea at the pit of my stomach Even though I didn t live there, I drove down to the coast myself, to witness a little of what was actually happening the deserted beaches at the height of summer, the dead fish and globs of oil washing up, the sensation of entering a ghost town of sorts or several ghost towns, in [...]

  6. Noladishu

    X Post noladishu 2012 07A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea focuses on the post blowout oil spill response capping, top kill, top hat, etc In Fire on the Horizon, the rig didn t blow until page 200 or so In this book, the rig blows up on page 30 and the well intervention lasts past page 200 The writer has a background as a science writer for National Geographic On the plus side, that means he has a firm understanding of things like measurement uncertainty, error bars, etc On the downside, he has no [...]

  7. Kate

    Remember that summer when there was a horrible oil leak in the Gulf, and no one could stop it, and everything sucked because that oil was gushing and gushing ALL day EVERY day And people were constantly ranting about how come we can have a space program but we can t fix this leak This book explores what was actually going on in those horrible months before the Web spill cam finally showed clear water Namely There was a Super Friends style response team composed of national geniuses who worked al [...]

  8. Mary

    I found this book to fairly represent all parties involved in this complex disaster Written by Joel Achenbach, of the Washington Post, I found his writing style to be informative, based on fact, and devoid of finger pointing I certainly have a better understanding of the facts to date and realize that it may be years before the true problems with the Macondo oil well are fully understood It did educate me regarding the danger of deep water drilling and why legislation related to deep water drill [...]

  9. Eric Simons

    This is one of the most thought provoking books I ve read all year, and, although I m not sure Achenbach intended it to be so, a powerful argument in favor of patience and moderation in the face of technological disaster One of the lessons from the response to the BP spill was that, believe it or not, everyone did a pretty good job federal government and BP included while the public, misinformed by an impatient and judgmental media, demanded symbolic action that distracted from actually shutting [...]

  10. Douglas Hackney

    Light, breezy, easy to read Short on technical details but correspondingly accessable for the average reader The author s heritage as a newspaper reporter shines through in ways both good and bad The upside is that the story reads like a potboiler The downside is that the style often overwhelms the story Fortunately, the author s style is both entertaining and produces good writing Bottom line this book won t provide any conclusive technical insights into the disaster, but does provide much need [...]

  11. Amy

    Achenbach mostly succeeds at writing about the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster as a thriller However, he can t avoid getting mired in technical details about top hats, blind shear rams, and blowout preventers for a hundred pages or so I admire him for not dumbing down the story, but even though or maybe because I work for the pipeline regulators, I found myself needing to re read several pages to try to understand what the heck was happening This book gave me a new perspective on BP s role in and [...]

  12. Catherine Stirling

    Here s what I tell people about this book it reads like a novel, and periodically you remind yourself that this horrible thing actually happened The research goes well beyond asking what happened, but digs into the how s and why s as well You may be disappointed to recognize yourself somewhere among the characters in this book, because there is human error and hubris throughout What really set this book apart, for me, was the way that the author pulls the themes together in the final chapter, so [...]

  13. Ross

    Because of my background as a petroleum geologist I was very interested in the details of the BP oil spill and followed the news closely while the eforts were underway to contain the blowout.I read this book hoping to get some additional detail on what exactly went wrong I got none at all, so I can t rate the book than 2 stars.This book could be a 3 or even a 4 star book for the general reader interested in a non technical overview of the disaster.

  14. Eliza

    Even if you did not follow this story at all, except maybe to say how awful, you should read this book The people that were snippets in the news are characters here, and it gives you an understanding both of what happened all the difficult and sciencey concepts are well explained in a non annoying way and who was affected and how And then part of what you realize is that we all are Really good.

  15. Bonnie_blu

    Joe Achenbach is an exceptional writer who lays bare each step that led to the Deepwater Horizon explosion He manages to take volumes of technical information and make them easily accessible to the average reader In addition, Achenbach s book is thrilling, compelling, and as interesting as the best mystery novels.

  16. Howard White

    Lively and informative book that gives narrative detail to the 2010 Gulf oil spill Achenbach, a Washington Post reporter and blogger, is a terrific writer with a great sense of humor and a knack for making complicated science and technology understandable without pandering Also recommend his Why Things Are books, volumes I and II, and George Washington s Potomac and the Race for the West.

  17. Mike

    The book is actually very well researched and written For me it bordered on waste of time, it repeated what was covered extensively in the press during this ecological tragedy I picked up the book because the author got my attention in the book festival last month It s not that the book had nothing new, but nothing new that was close to shattering

  18. Tracy

    This book really brought to light the human tragedy of the Macondo well, Deepwater Horizon disaster as well as the technical and legal complications The author did a great job of explaining everything in layman terms and the private accounts and discussions of the incident were very interesting.

  19. Christina Hudson

    A very comprehensive depiction of the BP Oil Gusher, and the causes of that horrific event The nature of the subject matter very technical descriptions about machinery technology most people know nothing about made the book slightly dry.

  20. Trey Palmer

    An excellent look at the response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster by the government and BP, illuminating their often conflicting viewpoints and methods of responding to the crisis.

  21. Tracy

    An interesting look at what happened and how experts and BP tried to solve it Also a thoughtful piece in the epilogue about disasters and how we react to increasingly complex technology.

  22. Electric Landlady

    Fascinating and snarky behind the scenes look at the oil gusher Doesn t give anyone a pass on their contribution to the disaster.

  23. Brad

    Great book, really great description of the disaster If you are interested in the entire event, I strongly reccommend this book.

  24. Chris

    Good blow by blow, but too much editorializing Achenbach should let the characters and the events speak for themselves.

  25. Danielle Strimbu

    Ahenbach makes this read like a story not a live event It provides an interesting look into what was going on behind the scenes with the DeepWater Horizon event.

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