BP CEO Tony Hayward “Devastated” by Oil Spill

BP CEO Tony Hayward “Devastated” by Oil Spill

Thursday, June 17, 2010

BP’s chief executive says he has been ‘personally devastated’ by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and understands the anger Americans feel toward him and his company.

In testimony to be delivered to a Congressional Committee later today, Tony Hayward says BP does not yet have answers to important questions about the spill, which has dumped millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

But Mr Hayward says he knows there will be hard feelings until the leak is stopped, and until it is, ‘no words will be satisfying’.

Mr Hayward is expected to face tough questioning from the Congressional panel who believe BP cut corners to save money.

On Wednesday he joined company chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg at the White House for a meeting with President Obama during which BP agreed to place $20 billion into an independently-managed compensation fund.

BP has also announced it will suspend its dividend payment to shareholders.

Mr Svanberg said: ‘I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are greedy companies or don’t care, but that is not the case with BP. We care about the small people.’

Although a BP public relations spokesman described it as a ‘slip in translation’, the remark drew icy comments in the U.S. for its perceived condescending tone.
For the community of Orange Beach, Alabama, where oil has washed ashore from the massive leak, news of a claim fund is welcome.

Hundreds of residents attended a town meeting on Wednesday to put their questions and concerns to the town’s mayor and a senior representative from BP.

Crowded into the town’s public gymnasium, resident after resident queued at the microphone to express their frustration at the pace and organisation of the clean-up effort and the time it is taking for compensation to be paid.

‘People need help and they desperately need it now,’ said one man.

‘What is the potential for health effects on us? Will it get bad enough that it will require evacuation of some type?’ asked another.

‘We got a lot of boats out here that wants to workbut it’s been disorganisedwe want to work,’ said one.

One woman thought the ‘Queen of England’ should apologise for the disaster.

Mayor Tony Kennon summed things up. He said: ‘People are in shock, they have no earthly idea how they are going to survive.’
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• Source(s): British Petroleum PLC and Sky News / BSkyB / News Corporation


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June 2010
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