Drilling Your Own

BP board game foreshadows Gulf disaster

LONDON — An obscure BP-themed board game in which players aim to avoid rig disasters has become an unexpected hit at a British toy museum.

BP Offshore Oil Strike was released in the early 1970s and allows up to four players to explore for oil, build platforms and construct pipelines. The first player to earn $120,000,000 wins.

Its “hazard cards” include “Blow-out! Rig damaged. Oil slick clean-up costs. Pay $1million.”

BP announced Monday that it has spent $3.12 billion dealing with the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The game was recently donated to the House on the Hill Toy Museum in Stansted, Essex.

“The parallels between the game and the current crisis… are so spooky,” museum owner Alan Goldsmith told Britain’s Metro newspaper. “The picture on the front of the box is so reminiscent to the disaster with the stormy seas, the oil rig and an overall sense of doom.

“I was just knocked over by how relevant this game is, despite being made some 35 years ago, to BP’s troubles today.”

Goldsmith said the game is worth about £75 ($115).

Let’s hazard some guesses about what’s on the flip-side of those two piles of cards. Call the first:

“Cut Corners. Save a Bunch of Money!”

-“Run a single line riser well instead of its more expensive, dual gas membrane alternative. Bank the difference.”

-“Eliminate a backup acoustic shut-off switch on the Blowout Preventer. Save $500,000.”

-“Forgo a final cement inspection log. Save &125,000.”

-“Plagiarize another company’s disaster response plan. Save the cost of contracting your own.”

-“Wildly inflate spill recovery numbers by at least an order of magnitude. Get approval for additional leasing tracts.”

-“Corrupt MMS regulatory officials with sex, cocaine, and promises of choice revolving door industry employment. Offset costs and bank extra profits with additional drilling approvals.”

Call the second:


-“BOP fails, resulting in massive oil and gas spill. Mobilize an extensive cover-up operation.”

-“Calculate worse case Clean Water Act fines at $4200 per/bl. Try to offset by heavy use of COREXIT dispersant to sink and atomize oil and gas so that it can’t be measured. Vigorously deny the existence of the resulting underwater plumes.”

-“Official investigation reveals disaster response plan includes rescuing species extinct from impacted area for 3 million years.”

-“Hire private contractors to prevent media access to evidence of oil impacting wildlife, nesting grounds, and beaches.”

-“Employ additional PR resources to mitigate ongoing media gaffs by BP officials.”

-“Promise to set up an unsecured $20 billion escrow to compensate local businesses.”

-“Hire team of bankruptcy lawyers. Cost unknown. Place head between legs and kiss your sweet corporate ass goodbye.”

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  1. i thought you were joking. there really is a game! all it needs are little game pieces in the shapes of pelicans, turtles, etc., and a can of oil to pour on them.