Safety & Environmental Risk Management: Borrowing from the Past to Enhance Knowledge for The Future

  • Evangelia Fragouli School of Business, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK
  • Faye Nzioka CEPMLP, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK
  • Selma Manar CEPMLP, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK
Keywords: safety risk, environmental risk, deep water horizon, deep-water drilling, feedback from crisis


The oil and gas industry is facing more and more challenges in the latest decades. Indeed, as oil and gas became more difficult to be found, new areas are targeted, as deep water offshore or more hostile environments like Alaska. These involve high technology industry and imply deep uncertainty. Thus, the application of classical approaches of risk management is limited, as shown by major safety and environmental oil disasters like the Deep Water Horizon Accident. This paper analyses the later as a case study, to discuss the complexity of safety and environmental risk management in deep-water drilling. Given this complexity, the paper will also analyse how feedback from previous accidents can improve knowledge, and change the perception and thus the way safety and environmental risks are managed in deep-water drilling. The findings of the paper contribute to development of risk management policy and risk decision making.