BP vs Exxon
Both BP and Exxon are one of world’s largest oil companies. While BP has headquarters in London, Exxon is a US based company. Both companies have been accused of oil spills. Exxon is remembered for a damning oil spill in 1989, while BP is held responsible for a disaster in the Gulf of Mexico as recently as April 2010. The value of shares of BP plummeted by as much as 13% in the aftermath of the tragedy, which is much more than a fall of 4% that stocks of Exxon experienced after the environmental tragedy that shook the world in 1989. Exxon easily managed to recover, while BP is still reeling under the effects of the mishap that cause reverberations across the world.
One factor that went against BP is the extensive media coverage and the resultant public angst that echoed loud and clear in the statements of world leaders. With live coverage of the oil spill on major international channels, it was hard for BP to hide anything. While way back in 1989, there were fewer media channels and this helped Exxon in burying the facts much more easily even though the disaster was bigger than the recent oil spill caused by BP. Internet has played a major role in spreading the news like a wildfire today whereas there was no internet in 1989 thus allowing Exxon to escape unscathed.
May be under intense media pressure, but BP has certainly fared much better than Exxon as far as mitigating the bad effects of oil spill is concerned. BP has also been far more transparent in coming out with facts and owning responsibility for the mishap than Exxon, which successfully downplayed the entire mishap. Exxon never paid damages and countless sufferers never got anything from Exxon, while BP has agreed to not only do the clean up operations but also agreed to compensate for the losses to property and the environment.
Both BP and Exxon are remembered for major oil spills in history
Despite a bigger disaster, Exxon suffered less than BP in terms of share value
BP is credited with better crisis management than Exxon