Petroleum, Refineries, and the Future

Disaster Risks and What Refineries Can do to Best Prepare


Disasters are extremely difficult to prepare for, especially when they are constantly changing. This makes disasters a very risky situation to deal with.  Risk is something that cannot be gotten rid of, and instead must be prepared for to the best of one’s ability. Charles Perrow, an emeritus professor of sociology at Yale University, explains in his article, Disasters Evermore? Reducing Our Vulnerabilities to Natural, Industrial, and Terrorist Disasters, “disasters from natural, industrial, and technological sources, and from deliberate sources such as terrorism, are inevitable, and increasing. We may prevent some and mitigate some, but we cannot escape them”(Perrow). Oil refineries, for example, take in millions of barrels of crude everyday and turn it into various products, but sometimes, during transportation or within the refining process, an oil spill occurs and measures to clean up that spill are put into effect. Given the track record of devastating spills, however, obviously enough is not being done at a high enough extent to prevent such unpredictable disasters. In order to better prepare for disasters, oil refineries should seek a better understanding of potential risks of these disasters to the refineries themselves, the potential risks to the environment that their inventory possesses at any given time, and pursue changes or policies that are able to weaken potential threats.

​Works Cited:

Perrow, Charles. "Disasters Evermore? Reducing Our Vulnerabilities to Natural, Industrial, and

Terrorist Disasters." Social Research, vol. 75, no. 3, Fall 2008, pp. 733-752.


This page has paths:

Contents of this path: