What People Are Saying

Quotes from reviews, blogs, and forum postings:

More Harvard than Hollywood


…readers wanting to know just what happened and why in the Deepwater Horizon disaster will never find a better book than this case study.


…very worthwhile book. The abstract “systems approach” concepts are explained in common sense terms and the technical details on drilling are illustrated with drawings. The book pulls it all together in a very readable package.


Should be required reading for anyone in the industry or those that purport to regulate them.


Great read; appreciate the effort and review. This is the world I work in so it is very familiar to me.


…the process to construct a wellbore was well done. A lay person, or at least someone with basic technical background but not in the industry, should easily be able to understand. But it was also not written in such nebulous or simplified terms that someone within the well construction industry could not recognize the process.


[A] patient and very detailed analysis of the event.


… an engaging and ultimately gripping read, at first illuminating and then impossible to put it down, even if you do have to go to work the next day.


A very specific, very technical, and yet somehow also very gripping new definitive analysis of the worst Gulf oil disaster in history.


…should be read by both oil field professionals and those responsible for large projects both within the oil industry and where ever large complex systems exist with the potential for catastrophic failure.


The systems oriented discussion in Deepwater Horizon: A Systems Analysis of the Macondo Disaster is, in some respects, an interesting departure from other analyses of the disaster. It makes sense and, more importantly, it doesn’t dismiss the role that human factors (failures) played in the incident. I would recommend it.


During the books writing I was very aware of the meticulous research the author went through. Consulting as he did a large group of Oil Field professionals to analyse and re-analyse the available data.


Gripping, highly detailed, and potentially of great interest to engineers who themselves work on complex, highly visible projects, Deepwater Horizon will help you break down and relive one of the most consequential engineering disasters in recent memory.


…reads almost like a detective novel and … can be read on various levels — from interested layman to safety professional and all points in between


…a tremendous book. Highly recommended to anyone working in the drilling industry or working on/with any complex systems.


It provides a fascinating and thorough account of the disaster that explores the complex relationship between technology, humans and their interaction.


…studying this case is useful for young people because it will help to be able to recognize ‘go fever,’ ‘brittle organizations,’ and see the importance of safety culture. Earlier in the book, [the authors mention] that BP had too many bright young ambitious people and not enough mentors for them. I’ve seen organizations that operate that way before, and I’ve seen the consequences myself. But if I had read something like this when I was first entering the workforce, I might not have been such a True Believer for so long. Better to have your eyes open than to trust in the full-colour-glossy-colour-coordinated system that they try to sell you on during your indoctrination.


This book assembles and organizes a substantial number of material details that form the context for a catastrophe that could happen again.


Most accounts of the Deepwater Horizon disaster dwell on the drama of the rig’s last hours, as the crew struggled to cope with the well blowout and then fought to survive. Those events are also part of Boebert and Blossom’s story, but the scope of their narrative is broader. Much of the action takes place deep underground, where drilling technology meets the uncertainties of geology, or else miles away in BP’s Houston offices. Their approach is analytic rather than dramatic. Theirs is the account for readers who want to understand how such disasters come about and what strategies might have the best chance of preventing more of them.