June 20, 2010 | Mark Paradies

Do Exxon and BP Take Different Approaches to Risk?

A story by Elizabeth Souder of The Dallas Morning News seems to imply as much. It says:

“Exxon Mobil Corp. had spent $180 million by 2006 trying to drill the world’s deepest offshore well and walked away before finishing.”

“Company engineers concluded that the 30,000-foot well in the Gulf of Mexico’s Blackbeard West formation was just too risky. They were following the company’s rigorous safety system that was created after the Exxon Valdez oil tanker crashed.”

”’We basically decided that the well could not be safely continued based on what was in the well,’ said Exxon spokeswoman Cynthia Bergman.”

“At the time, analysts complained that the Irving-based oil giant didn’t have the guts to drill. But compare the $180 million cost to the roughly $3 billion Exxon spent on the Valdez spill, or the tens of billions that BP PLC will spend cleaning up the mess after a rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico.”

See the whole story at:

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/7062695.html

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