Case Study of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and the Resultant Changes Essay

Research study of this instance survey is sing of the Exxon Valdez oil spill catastrophe. Exxon Mobil Corporation is found on 30th November 1999 by unifying Exxon and Mobil and it ‘s the largest publically traded companies in the universe. It is in the rank of # 1 or # 2 for the past 5 old ages. By the clip it reached March 1989, a worst calamity took topographic point where caused by one of the largest super oiler in the universe Exxon Valdez. [ 1 ]

Different merchandises have developed invariably in respond to altering demand for better in crude oil refinery. There a batch of procedures involve in refinery, but the four chief procedures is refinery, separation, transition and purification operation processes. At foremost the usage of refinery is to make kerosine as cheaper and better comparison to whale oil. Since all vehicles and aeroplane is combustion engine, it created more demands for crude oil.

The location of Prince William Sound is so deep in where it merely can be entree by plane and boat. Due to this, the authorities and peculiar industries that involve had a tough clip cleaning the catastrophe. By this major catastrophe, environment, economic and societal were the chief facets were affected severely. It has given a negative impact on the life style of the people in Prince William Sound. [ 2 ]

A batch of action has been taken in the oil refinery industry after the oil spill, such as Operation Integrated Management System ( OIMS ) , better radio detection and ranging system and Coast Guard in Prince William Sound.


2.1 Problem Statement

By such catastrophe happening, the exposure and early bar stairss would be taken by the society. Engineers will be efficient as in ; safety and the quality would play a large function for them in their calling by cognizing the effects of the major catastrophe.

2.2 Objective

1. The purpose and objectives 2. To detect oil and refinery industrial procedures and operations and larn the cause of the catastrophe 3. Hazards of the oil spill catastrophe and pollution that affected all countries that lead to the oil spill catastrophe and pollution 4. The effects of all the jeopardies of the oil spill catastrophe 5. To improvize and the alterations in the direction systems to forestall from the catastrophe to happen

2.3 Overview

This research study is a instance survey of the Exxon Valdez oil spill catastrophe that took topographic point in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Within six hours of the foundation, the Exxon Valdez spilled around 10.9 million gallons of its 53 million gallon lading of Prudhoe Bay petroleum oil. Eight of the 11 armored combat vehicles on board were damaged. Even before this major catastrophe occurred, they were high hazard of oil spill in Prince William Sound. There is still an ill-defined uncertainty why this oil spill took topographic point. [ 1 ]

3. Aim and aims of Exxon Mobil Corporation

Exxon Mobil Corporation is merged in two companies which is Exxon and Mobil in the twelvemonth of 1999. It is the universe ‘s largest crude oil and petrochemical company and it is besides the universe ‘s taking traded international oil and gas company. Exxon Mobil markets fuel and lubricators are under three trade names which are Esso, Exxon and Mobil. The corporation purposes and aim is divided into few sectors:

3.1 Development

Exxon Mobil is focused on serious and discipline investing determination to happen the best solutions that can give a big sum of net income and besides the same clip increase the dependability and cut down the cost. Exxon Mobil is besides focused on many major undertakings which have started with the design and the operating construct and bringing.

3.2 Employees

Exxon Mobil is really choosey in taking in and retaining employers. They need employers who are highly good and acquire the best out of them. They make the best of the best by directing them to the best preparation. They are really committed to keep their safety during at workplace. A safe work environment enriched by diverseness and characterized by unfastened communicating, trust and just intervention. [ 3 ]

3.3 Communities

Exxon Mobil is base throughout the universe. Where of all time the, they are really committed to be a good cooperate citizen. They maintain their high ethical criterions, obey all applicable Torahs, regulations and ordinance and besides respect the civilization of the several state. Among all those aims above, they are more dedicated to running safe and environmentally responsible procedure.

Exxon Mobil Corporation is self-motivated to be at the taking border of competition in all the facets of our concern. They are really discipline and really selective in gauging the scope of capital investing chances available to them. They create new ways such as develop proprietary engineerings that provide a competitory border. Their ends are achieved by cleanly put to deathing concern programs and adhering to these steering rules and the foundation policies.

3.4 Stockholders

Exxon Mobil Corporation is committed to heighten the long term period value of the investing dollars trusted to them by the stockholders. At the terminal the stockholders would be rewarded with their superior returns. The impulse of this would heighten their direction of their Corporation. [ 1 ]

3.5 Customers

To stay successful in an industry, a company has to be steadfast to delight those different perceptual experience clients to accommodate to their demands. Exxon Mobil commits them self to offer high quality merchandises and services at competitory monetary values. [ 1 ]

Refinery Industrial Processes and operations

Figure 1: Procedure Flow Diagram [ 4 ]

Oil refinery industry is a procedure where a barrel of natural petroleum oil that contains a mixture of all kinds of hydrocarbons, is transform it to petrochemical fuel like gasoline and Diesel. All procedures are done by heat, force per unit area and chemical reaction method. Valves and appliances is the 1 regulated when the petroleum oil runs through many kilo meters of pipes. Computerizes appliances used to supervise to command and optimise the procedures that are undertaken.

Polishing Procedure

In this industry, refinement is the most simplest and common procedures is under taken. It starts with the petroleum oil is been heated up to zap the oil in distillment tower. Naturally heavier molecules would non lift as lighter 1s in the vapor and with this the vapor can distill with different degrees. When the chilling procedure occurs at assorted grades, the liquified gasses are collected in condensation trays. By this assorted types of petrochemical stuff are obtained. [ 4 ]

4.2 Treatment

The intent of this procedure is for hydrocarbon watercourses to acquire ready for excess processing and to fix complete merchandises. Sometimes it includes the riddance or separation of aromatics and naphthenic besides as drosss. Chemical or physical separation for case dissolution, soaking up, or precipitation utilizing a fluctuation and combination of procedures incorporating desalting, drying, hydro desulfurizing, dissolver refinement, sweetener, solvent extraction, and solvent dew axing might be included.

4.3 Catalytic Crack

Catalytic procedures are another type of procedures. It involves the breakage of heavy molecules into more valuable light molecules. For an illustration the breakage of low bitumen to diesel or even petrol where this procedure takes topographic point in a high temperature utilizing an alumina silicate and alumina silicate Acts of the Apostless as a accelerator to the procedure and helps to interrupt down the molecule. This accelerator is in pulverization signifier.

4.6 Auxiliary operations and installations Steam and power coevals, procedure and fire H2O system, flairs and alleviation system, furnaces and warmers, pumps and valves, supply of steam, air, N and other works gases, dismaies and detectors, noise and pollution controls, trying, proving, inspecting, research lab, control room, care and managerial installations. [ 5 ]

4.4 Other Polishing Operationss

This includes light-ends recovery, sour-water denudation, solid waste and effluent direction, process-water intervention and chilling, hive awaying and direction, merchandise motion, H production, acid and tail-gas intervention and sulfur retrieval. [ 5 ]

5. Hazards in all countries that lead to disaster

5.1 Human Mistake

Human mistake is the chief contributing factors. The first mate or captain of the oiler Captain Hazelwood was under influence of intoxicant, at that clip of the incident. The captain was unable to concentrate on his duty. This could be avoided if the captain of the ship were more subject during work.

Hazelwood was send to alcohol rehabilitation for 28 yearss. The direction knew about it and they followed his advancement in rehab. The error the direction did was, gave him the responsible to be a captain of vas once more. Alternatively of reinstating such a major responsible as a captain, they should hold given him desk work occupation.

Furthermore the 3rd mate who was in charge of the vas when the major accident occurred. This is because he had really small sleep the dark before anchoring and they were missing of staff on board oiler. When the Hazelwood went to kip, the 3rd mate had to take in charge to maneuver the oiler without holding adequate slumber. [ 6 ]

5.2 Failure of Coast Guard

Safe proofing method has been established and agreed between State of Alaska, the Coast Guard and the oil industry. This is to avoid human mistake to happen. This method works when there is a signifier of iceberg the seashore guard has to warn the captains and the captain has to decelerate down their oilers. However, most of the oilers did non follow to the regulations including Exxon Valdez due to gain and extinguish down clip.

5.3 Delayed Response

Location of Prince Williams Sound is deep so deep in by geographical position, where can be merely excessed by air or H2O made the response slow. Apart from the location, the conditions besides played another large factor. Due to detain response on responding to clean the muss, the oil polluted about 2000km of cost line and about 26000 square kilo metres of sea was contaminated. [ 10 ]


Figure 2: State on-scene Coordinator ‘s [ 8 ]

A oiler with rough oil from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska collides with a reef in Alaska ‘s Prince William Sound and 11 million gallons of rough oil spilled into one of the biggest coastlines. The atrocious result out of the incident could hold been reduced but due to the location, it made it difficult for the clean-up squad and the authorities to respond. Even Exxon Mobile did non respond fast due to their unstable system in topographic point to cover with the crisis. There is no any committedness given by Exxon Mobile to guarantee that this same incident will happen once more. [ 9 ]

6.1 Economic

The entire money to merely clean the muss is about USD 2.1 billion dollars and mulct is USD 5 billion dollars of this was the biggest penalizing mulcts of all time charged out to a company. The entire Exxon Mobile had to fork out USD 7.1 billion dollars.

Those fishermen ‘s were affected severely, till their supports were affected. They were trusting on that for lasting. They lost about annually gross valued at USD 174 million dollars. Due to this touristry industry were affected every bit good. [ 8 ]

6.2 Environmental

Ecological system and wildlife were destroyed to the full. Shoreline for 1400 stat mis was affected till they ca n’t happen those countries. A sum of 1,015 dead Sea otters, 36,466 dead Sea birds 144 dead bald bird of Joves, 302 seaport and more than 100,000 of oiled birds. The figure for dead birds was the highest comparison to Heneman oil spill go on in 1989. Some species sinked when they die, due to that the whole sea was polluted. Most of the marine mammals fall ill due to consuming oil while seeking to clean oil of their pelts or plumes or eating drunk quarry. [ 9 ]

Improvement and Changes in the Management System

7.1 Operation Integrity Management System

After the oil spill Exxon Mobil Corporation devised a complete 11 point program which covers from direction to employees and everything including installations and preparation. Exxon Mobil implemented an attack where safety is a major factor. The multilevel ( OIMS ) covers an extended degree of component in direction system. This elements could sort as leading direction in safety and answerability, design, building and keeping installations, preparedness in confronting exigency, version to alter, uninterrupted appraisal of public presentation and enquiries in accident and incidents. When this policy been implemented Exxon had to travel through a batch of alterations and this alterations lead to more improve and safe environment. This creates, Exxon Mobil to be the leader for safety in the industry. [ 4 ]

7.2 Management Leadership

Execution of safety starts at the direction and work itself down to the labour force. This is because at the direction degree, the planning of the wellness and safety process is done. Therefore implementing safety steps besides the duty of the direction. This is done by placing the hazard involves followed by puting clear public presentations standards. This can be done by making a clear hazard direction process. Once that is done the leading in the organisation should hold a rigorous enforcement policy where everybody affect should be given proper preparation and extra exposure to the hazard and safety step are involve. [ 4 ]

7.3 Construction and Facilities

When planing a installations and building of the installations there is different type grade of safeties. For an illustration when U planing a machinery or tool, in this instance best related to a edifice of a oil oiler. After the ruinous catastrophe of Exxon Valdez, the safety accent on the design was changed. For an illustration, oilers now are re-enforced by holding dual hull and other safety steps are more efficient. The operation safety is emphasis by developing where is given to all ship crew. For an illustration, pilotage officers are given developing in utmost status ship manoeuvring. [ 4 ]

Improvement and Policies

After the incident Exxon Mobil had rigorous enlisting policies where all employees which are new has to travel through an intoxicant and drug showing. This was besides implemented on bing staff and this was done after the incident. If in instance there was a employee who was under the influence of any substance on board a vas would be stopped from sailing once more until they can turn out that they would non reiterate and gone through proper rehabilitation. [ 4 ]


The decision is Exxon Valdez was one of the major oil spill catastrophe. It consequence of this incident was broad spread and really annihilating. Resulting from a human mistake and carelessness, many guiltless people and environment was affected. From this instance analyze it can be said that a good safety program is required. Management besides should ever be responsible with their action and steps to forestall such catastrophe. Given the state of affairs and late response to the catastrophe made the incident even worse. They were many guidelines that did non followed by the direction and employees, for an illustration the captain who was under the influence of intoxicant and the deficiency of crew members on board. Incident happens because of human mistake.

The crew on board was really severely trained or non trained at all for any sort of state of affairs. Therefore more preparation needed in future for all the employees, there should be ever a organic structure which monitors the preparation and sets ongoing preparation for all the staffs. The direction should besides implement wellness and safety guidelines in a regular footing. To guarantee in the hereafter there will be any similar incidents happening. There besides should be a squad that ensures the upholders of the oiler and equipment on board.

The Exxon Valdez spill was a lesson good learned by everyone particularly Exxon Mobil Corporation and other oil and gas companies.

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