Deepwater Horizon

Deepwater Horizon (2016)

Character mistake: When Mike's wife is watching the news about the oil rig on fire, you can see the TV with part of the U.S. map on it and 'Mississippi' is misspelled as Missisippi.

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Factual error: The British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon accident was erroneously characterized by environmental activists, by some U.S. politicians, by the press and by this film as the "worst" manmade oil spill in history. It was not. The Pemex Ixtoc 1 disaster off the Yucatan peninsula in 1979 was far worse, lasted much longer, and received almost zero press in the United States, even though it impacted virtually every coastline in the Gulf of Mexico for over a year. The Deepwater Horizon spill was hyped far above and beyond its comparatively minor environmental impact for purely political reasons (i.e., it was used to fuel opposition to offshore drilling).

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Charles Austin Miller
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Suggested correction: It's hard to analyze "worst oil spill" because there's so many factors involved beyond how long it lasted, including death and injuries that occurred. However, the 1979 event resulted in 140 million gallons spilt and the Deepwater Horizon spilt an estimated 206 million gallons and resulted in 11 deaths.

Bishop73

Visible crew/equipment: When we see the helicopter being fueled up at the start we see men working connecting the fuel line. When they do this, we see a camera shadow very briefly on their shoulder.

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A Demon

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Trivia: When Mr. Jimmy is calling out names on the boat to see who's missing, the real Mr. Jimmy Harrell is standing next to him, wearing a dirty grey T-shirt (and presumably playing a random rig worker). You can first see him (from the back) when Russell calls out Caleb Holloway's name. The first view of his face is after Jason Anderson's name is called.

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Aerinah

Trivia: During the real Deepwater Horizon oil spill, actor Kevin Costner offered his services, claiming that a small company he bought from the U.S. Department of Energy could clean up 90% of the oil in a week, using poorly-tested technology. His offer was accepted, despite zero evidence that the technology ever worked; and it failed miserably, of course.

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Charles Austin Miller

Andrea Fleytas: I don't want to die! I don't want to die.
Mike Williams: You're not going to die. Trust me.

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Felicia: Is it just me or did it get real bright in there all of a sudden? Mike, what is that? Is everything OK? Mike?

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Question: I have two questions. First, Did the disaster start as shown in the movie? Second, did the explosion look like what we saw in the movie?

Chosen answer: The disaster started as a gas blow-out followed by a massive explosion on the oil rig, visible from 40 miles away. Eleven people were killed. Two days later, the burning rig collapsed into the sea, which severed the wellhead at a depth of over 4000 feet. If anything, the movie underplayed the disaster.

Charles Austin Miller

Question: Why do authorities think Vidrine was not the true villain on deep water horizon? He is the one who brushed off safety concerns, and ordered a second negative pressure test. And according to the investigators, an employee who perished in the disaster was responsible for the bladder effect hypothesis not Vidrine. Even if it was true, how would it make him the villain? They are treating who the true villain was like it has to do with who was responsible for the bladder effect hypothesis, and not for brushing off safety concerns, and ordering the second pressure test. Plus it could still have been Vidrine's fault, given that also say the cause of the explosion was years of small mistakes, those mistakes could have been Vidrine's mistakes along with his decision to order a second pressure test instead asking the employees what they wanted to do, Especially since they knew the rig, and he didn't.

Answer: Films often take some artistic licensing in portraying the characters and they may have been some misunderstanding in whom the film was trying to say was at fault. In real life, Transocean and BP were charged with multiple counts of manslaughter and other crimes. In agreeing to plead guilty, Transocean Deepwater admitted members of its crew on board Deepwater Horizon, acting at the direction of BP's well-site leaders, were negligent in failing to fully investigate that the Macondo well was secure and that oil and gas were not flowing into the well. BP admitted the two highest ranked well-site leaders were negligent. Those two well-site leaders were Robert Kaluza (portrayed in the film by Brad Leland) and Donald Vidrine. Kaluza and Vidrine observed clear indication that the well was not secure and oil and gas were flowing into the well and did not take the obvious and appropriate steps to prevent the blowout. Both Kaluza and Vidrine were charged with 11 counts of manslaughter and prosecutors said they botched the pressure test that would have warned the crews to stop. When Vidrine agreed to plead guilty to pollution charges and testify against Kaluza, prosecutors dropped his manslaughter charges. Kaluza went to jury trial (although was found not guilty.) It seems likely too many factors played a role in leading up to the blowout that was a result of BP trying to save money and time over safety concerns and more than 2 supervisors were ultimately responsible.

Bishop73

Question: Is it true Jimmy Harrell was taking a shower as the disaster began?

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