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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

BP Foreshadows Its Doom - Forty Years Ago

Posted by Sarah Hardy on Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 1:19 PM

Back in the 70's when drilling for oil was fun and exciting and not destroying the Gulf Coast, BP released a board game called "BP Offshore Oil Strike." The tag-line for the game promises: "The thrills of drilling, the hazards and rewards as you bring in your own..."

Oh the irony.

The obscure game allows up to four players to explore and drill for oil on a Risk-style board. It recently gained publicity, after being long forgotten for decades, when it was donated to a toy museum in England.


The first player that earns $120,000,000 (chump change these days) wins. One of the game's hazard cards reads: "Blow-out! Rig damaged. Oil slick clean-up costs. Pay $1 million." If only.

Although the Deepwater Horizon spill hasn't been the first since the game was released, nor the last, some are saying that the game eerily foreshadows the disaster in the Gulf.

"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."


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