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BP : Gulf of Mexico Crisis Response

Delivering IT in a Crisis

In April 2010 BP and its contracted partners were struck with the tragedy of the Transocean Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; 11 workers tragically lost their lives in the incident.

In response, BP mobilised a crisis team of skilled resources across multiple disciplines on an unprecedented level. Response to the incident would require BPs partners to support the company’s efforts with extreme levels of responsiveness, flexibility and dedication; and delivered exactly that.

The crisis response team were located in a series of Incident Command Centres (ICCs) and Forward Operating Bases, each of which required supporting communications and IT infrastructure. Within 24 hours of receiving a request for help, had mobilised a team of BP knowledgeable IT technicians. setup the key ICC located in Mobile, Alabama in a vast convention centre, devoid of IT cabling or infrastructure. In this rapidly evolving environment, failure was not an option and the team dug deep to respond to high volumes & varieties of requests. An internet connection was dropped in, networking, WLAN, printers, plotters and AV equipment delivered and the organisation was left to “make it happen”. The next day, the Mobile ICC was a fully operational office space, hosting the response efforts of hundreds of individuals and global media press conferences.

As the ICC grew from an initial estimate of 100 users to over 1,000 in a matter of days, additional demand for network and significant print and plot jobs drove the need for the team to perform constant network redesigns. The team grew and worked in shifts to provide round the clock support, dealing with over 400 calls per day, spanning everything from simple network connectivity, security, to deep application and blackberry troubleshooting.

When BP requested assistance in the MC252 response, the entire organisation realised that this was a time to step and “do the right thing”, allowing BP to focus on the job at hand without the distraction of IT and support functions

  • Responsiveness - 24hrsfrom request to on-site resources
  • Knowledgeable in HSSE practices and policies
  • Zero ramp-up time - capable teams able to hit the ground running
  • Cost Management from Day 1:
  • Application of standard rates cards for services (no crisis uplift)
  • Minimisation of expense costs
  • Hands-on Approach – managing our organisation so client does not have to
  • Co-ordination and Project Management
  • Flexibility – can do attitude towards delivering the job in hand
  • Dynamic – on the fly re-assignment of skill sets, resources to sites, travel change, hours of operation, scale up/down

During the incident response, brought up numerous forward operating and command centres and deployed a multi-national team of over 40 technicians from the US, UK and Canada, supporting 13 locations.

Summary has supported the MC252 response effort for more than 12 months. The commitment and dedication of the staff and the company as a whole has been unconditional –an extreme but not atypical illustration of doing IT right and doing the right thing by our clients, whether as a managed service or in response to a crisis.


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