On April 20, 2010, a gas release and subsequent explosion aboard Deepwater Horizon, an oil drillship working on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico, killed 11 people and injured
17 others. The resulting spill discharged an estimated 3 million
gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
An emergency response was required to handle the immediate
impacts of the tragedy. Due to the severity and scope of the
incident, it was clear that a focused and dedicated supply
management organization needed to move into action on short
notice. It was essential to build a professional procurement and
supply chain management (PSCM) organization and to find
ways to secure goods and services in an efficient and controlled
fashion. I was asked to set up a supply management function
in a new company, the Gulf Coast Restoration Organization
(GCRO), for that purpose. And I had less than 60 days to do so.
BUILDING THE TEAM
The size of this endeavor and the speed of its mobilization were
unprecedented. At its peak, it involved 47,000 people, 4,000
vessels, and 125 aircraft flying 200 missions a day.
The initial response to Deepwater Horizon was staffed by BP
employees already in the Gulf of Mexico, leveraging oil spill
response organizations (OSROs) under contract to BP. The
U.S. government quickly set up the Unified Command, which
included representatives from BP, the U.S. Coast Guard and
Supply management played a
key role in the aftermath of the
Deepwater Horizon incident.