Completing the response

The Deepwater Horizon accident triggered an extensive oil spill response

From the beginning, BP worked under the direction of the Unified Command to fight the spill and minimize its impact on the environment and human health by containing, removing and dispersing the oil offshore, and by implementing strategies to protect the shoreline and clean up oil that came ashore.

At its peak in 2010, the response effort involved the mobilization of approximately 48,000 people, the coordination of approximately 6,500 vessels and the deployment of approximately 2,500 miles (13.5 million feet) of boom to contain or absorb the oil. Local commercial fishermen, vessel owners and many others helped with clean-up and shoreline protection activities, and BP employees and retirees brought their expertise from around the world. At the end of 2013, approximately 230 people and 10 vessels were supporting the response effort.

As at the end of December 2013, BP has spent more than $14 billion and 70 million personnel hours on response and clean-up activities. Significant progress has been made. Fewer than 20 of the approximate 4,400 shoreline miles in the area of response remained active at the end of February 2014, all in Louisiana. The Coast Guard ended active clean-up operations in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi in mid-2013.

To help guide response and clean-up activities, the US Coast Guard’s federal on-scene coordinator commissioned several reports by the Operational Science Advisory Team, comprised of scientists representing federal agencies and BP. The reports are helping to define what is known scientifically about the potential impacts of residual oil.


The information on this page forms part of the information reviewed and reported on by Ernst & Young as part of BP's 2013 sustainability reporting. View the full assurance statement.