Exxon Valdez Oil Spill 1989

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Research On Exxon Valdez Incident



Presented by : Rohit Shinde

Introduction ..

Oil Spill

The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on March 24, 1989, when the Exxon Valdez , an Oil tanker bound for Long Beach California , hit Prince Willian Sound's Bligh Reef and Spilled a widely reported estimate of 10.8 million US gallons (40.9 million litres, or 250,000 barrels) of crude oil. It is considered to be one of the most devastating human-caused environment disasters ever to occur in history

As significant as the Valdez spill was the largest ever in U.S. waters & it ranks well down on the list of the world's largest oil spill in terms of volume released

Contd At the moment of the collision the third mate, who was not certified to take the tanker into those waters, was at the helm. The probable cause was established that the Captain and many of the crew had been drinking alcohol in considerable quantities The spill cost around $7bn, including the clean up costs. $5bn of this was made up of the largest punitive fines ever handed out to a company for corporate irresponsibility. However, Exxon lost market share and slipped from being the largest oil company in the world to the third largest The company failed to show that they had effective systems in place to deal with the crisis - and in particular their ability to move quickly once the problem had occurred was not in evidence

Why Exxon Faced Crises ? The damage to the company's reputation was even more important, and more difficult to quantify. * The biggest mistake was that Exxon's chairman, Lawrence G. Rawl, sent a succession of lower-ranking executives to Alaska to deal with the spill instead of going there himself and taking control of the situation in a forceful, highly visible way. This gave the impression that the company regarded the pollution problem as not important enough to involve top management. While In contrast, Ashland Oil's chairman, John R. Hall, went to the scene of the Ashland spill and took charge. Exxon decided to concentrate its news briefings in Valdez, a remote Alaskan town with limited communications operations, complicating the problem of disseminating information.

Contd Top Exxon executives declined to comment for almost a week after the spill, increasing the impression of a company that was not responding vigorously. Public statements by the company sometimes contradicted information from other sources. At one point, an Exxon spokesman said damage from the spill would be minimal, while others watching the industry said the damage was likely to be substantial. An advertisement that Exxon ran in newspapers around the country 10 days after the spill appeared too late. Although the company apologized for the spill, it did not accept responsibility. 'Exxon did not update its media relations people elsewhere in the world,' . Instead, it ''told reporters it was Valdez or nothing.''

Exxon s Crisis Management Programme Exxon contracted independent scientists with impeccable credentials who are among the world's leading experts in their fields. They have studied in-depth all pertinent aspects related to the effect of the Valdez oil spill on the Sound's water, shoreline and wildlife. To date these scientists have published approximately 400 peer-reviewed papers relating to aspects of the Prince William Sound environment.

Contd .. Changes ExxonMobil has made to prevent another accident like Valdez ExxonMobil redoubled its long-time commitment to safeguard the environment, employees and operating communities worldwide. To improve oil-spill prevention, ExxonMobil has, for example: Modified tanker routes Instituted drug and alcohol testing programs for safety sensitive positions Restricted safety-sensitive positions to employees with no history of substance abuse Implemented more extensive periodic assessment of ExxonMobil vessels and facilities Strengthened training programs for vessel captains and pilots and Applied new technology to improve vessel navigation and ensure the integrity of oil containment systems

Contd .. In the event a spill occurs, we also have improved our response capability. For example: ExxonMobil is a founding member of every major oil spill response center worldwide There are over 1,000 ExxonMobil employees involved in oil spill response teams worldwide They hold frequent, extensive oil spill drills at various ExxonMobil locations around the world and Exxon have developed and applied new spill-detecting technology.

Current Status Of The Company Exxon has not yet recovered a responsible reputation to this day, even if it has slowly introduced green energy and renewable energy resources in the market. The name Exxon, to this day, is still synonymous to the concept of man-made disaster. After all, the damage caused by the oil spill was massive and affected sea and water creatures, as well as ruined the livelihood of thousands of people dependent on fishery resources off the coast of Alaska. After the billions of dollars spent on restoring the Exxon image, the company has failed to restore its reputation after the oil spill incident. Exxon still has one of the dirtiest company images on earth. The accident is touted to be one of the worst ways to handle a crisis. Exxon has gotten one of the most damaging portrayals in mass media, due entirely to the company s fault of not communicating properly with the publics right after the incident. In a time of environmental consciousness, Exxon has remained in the minds of people as a company that is environmentally damaging and irresponsible. The perception of the public is the cause behind the fact that Exxon has never survived the crisis.

Contd To eradicate its irresponsible image, Exxon has to do the opposite: be environmentally responsible. This is a tall order to overturn public perception that has festered through two decades. While it has already put technological measures in place so as not to repeat the disaster, the issue has always been one of public image and reputation. No matter how Exxon passed a good part of the blame after the spill to other groups such as the Coast Guard and its distribution subsidiary whom it expected to be responsible for moving the oil, the world saw the disaster as purely Exxon s fault and problem . It can be concluded that Exxon s long delay in responding publicly to the problems, in the many ways and means that it could have had, caused the company s irreparable reputational damage. To this day, the Exxon Valdez incident remains one of the most glaring examples of how not to handle a crisis.

Our Measures As An PR To eradicate its irresponsible image, Exxon has to do the opposite: be environmentally responsible & we would put technological measures in place so as not to repeat the disaster We would have an Effective System working in place to Deal with the Crisis. Introduce Funding Scheme for the people on the shore. The Ocean would be Re-Populated with Fishes & other Marine Animals. Set the MD(Managing Director) & CEO(Chief Executive Officer) to assure people about the cleaning of Ocean in very less time. Would have a nature lover Brand Ambassador and arrange a Rally.