News In Brief

BP Oil Spill: The Board Game

Matt Berger Jul 7, 2010

Photo via Metro

Here’s one for the awful coincidence category. The blogosphere is buzzing this week after photos of a 1970s board game surfaced on the Internet. It’s called “BP Offshore Oil Strike.” We haven’t seen the rule book, but according to, players face many of the same real-world challenges that BP is up against in the real-life version unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico.

“The game…revolves around four players exploring for oil, building platforms and constructing pipelines – all in the name of being the first to make $120 million,” reports. “But like the real-life oil game there are some big hazards, too. Players have to deal with the possibility of large-scale oil spills and cover cleanup costs. You struggle with “hazard cards” that include phrases now part of our daily vernacular, including: “Blow-out! Rig damaged. Oil slick cleanup costs. Pay $1 million.””

That last line points to another oddity of the game. According to the UK’s Metro, which first reported the story, the game was made by the Scottish company Printabox. So why were the damages listed in American dollars?

UPDATE: While we’re on the topic of oil exploration board games, check out this other find from the US Minerals Management Service. Who knew oil drilling could be so much fun for kids!

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