Dedicated to the eleven who died, and their loved ones


Last spring, the world watched for weeks as nearly two hundred million gallons of crude oil billowed from a hole three miles deep in the Gulf of Mexico. Warnings of various and imminent environmental consequences dominated the news. Deepwater drilling—which had been largely ignored or misunderstood—exploded in the American consciousness in the worst way possible.

But the culture and history of underwater drilling, to say nothing of the events aboard the Deepwater Horizon leading to the blowout, have remained obscure and unscrutinized…until now.

Fire on the Horizon, written by veteran oil rig captain John Konrad and veteran Washington Post journalist Tom Shroder, recounts in fascinating detail the life of the rig itself, from its construction in South Korea in the year 2000 to its improbable journey around the world to its disastrous end, and reveals the daily lives, the daily struggles and ambitions, of those who called it home.

A real-life thriller in the tradition of The Perfect Storm, Shroder and Konrad take the reader on and off the rig—from the little known Maritime colleges to Transocean’s training schools and Houston headquarters to the small towns all over the country where the wives and children of the Horizon’s crew live in the everpresent shadow of the risks they take to make us less dependent on foreign oil. Contained herein are full-scale portraits of the Horizon’s captain, it’s chief mate and chief mechanic, and others, in a captivating history of the industry and the astonishing technology that makes drilling wells at the bottom of the ocean possible, and very dangerous. What emerges is a white-knuckled account of engineering hubris at odds with the Earth itself, an unusual manifestation of corporate greed, and the unforgettable heroism of the men (and few women) on board the Deepwater Horizon, culminating in the harrowing minute-by-minute account of the fateful day, April 20, 2010, when the half-billion dollar rig blew up, taking the lives of 11 people with it and leaving an unprecedented swath of natural destruction.

Fire on the Horizon will be published by HarperCollins March 1, 2011.

Speak Your Mind