Think Again

Key Themes

  • Communication
  • Executive level decision making
  • Leadership
  • Process safety

Target Audience

Senior Management, Board Members.


On March 23, 2005 at approximately 1:20pm an explosion occurred at the BP refinery in Texas City. As a consequence, 15 people died. Hundreds more were injured. Why did it happen? This play, originally commissioned by Balfour Beatty shows how decisions made at the highest levels contributed to the disaster.


Bill: See here Don, I think you have a chance here to talk to the CEO and get him to reverse some of the cuts that are turning this refinery into a rusting hulk of metal.

Don: I don’t think it’s helpful to talk of cuts. What we have been doing is driving costs out of the system.

Bill: You can’t run a refinery without incurring costs.

Don: No, but this is a business which needs to show a good return on capital. You can’t just throw money at it.

Bill: The thing is, Amoco were already cutting costs in 1999 when BP took over. Since then BP told you to cut costs by a further 25%. Something’s gotta give.