The Deepwater Horizon explosion in April 2010 led to one of the largest environmental catastrophes in history. 200 million gallons of crude oil were released into the Gulf of Mexico before the leak was capped after 87 days. By then, the toll of the disaster was astounding: Eleven workers aboard the offshore drilling rig were killed in the initial explosion and another 17 injured. A vast number of bird and marine life was killed or harmed, and a 1,000 mile stretch of Gulf coast impacted. After years of litigation and $60 billion in cleanup costs, BP was ultimately found responsible for negligence related to its rush to complete the Macondo Well, leading to the explosion. As a non-operating partner in the financing of the well, The Focal Point’s client Anadarko Petroleum joined in the effort to hold BP accountable for the systems and processes that contributed to the disaster.

The Focal Point’s Role

The Focal Point partnered with Anadarko’s experts and litigation team to develop graphics and animation teaching all aspects of what led up to the disaster and the ensuing investigation. Dozens of complex animations and hundreds of graphics were created with the goal of showing precisely how the explosion occurred, from finite examinations of well drilling, cementing, and testing, to detailed analysis of safety culture and minute-by-minute accounts of temporary abandonment processes.


Anadarko settled with BP for far less than the 25% cleanup cost dictated in the contract terms as a non-operating partner, thereby dropping its negligence claim against BP.

The Focal Point’s Clients

Bingham McCutchen
Mary Huser
Sheila Pierce


US District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana