BP Chief: Company Never Had the Tools to Address Oil Leak
Calling his company’s oil-well blowout in the Gulf a “low-probability, high-impact” episode, BP CEO Tony Hayward conceded this week that the energy giant was ill prepared to handle an accident at the depths being drilled by the Deepwater Horizon when it exploded.
“What is undoubtedly true is that we did not have the tools you would want in your tool-kit,” Hayward told the Financial Times.
He accepted it was “an entirely fair criticism” to say the company had not been fully prepared for a deep-water oil leak.
The containment effort on the surface, he said, had been “very successful” in keeping oil away from the coast. “Considering how big this has been, very little has got away from us,” Mr Hayward said. But in trying to plug the leak, BP had been reaching for many of the same techniques used to control the Ixtoc?1 blow-out in the Gulf of Mexico 31 years ago.
“After the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989, the industry created the Marine Spill Response Corporation to contain oil on the surface… The issue will be to create the same sub-sea response capability,” he explained.
It comes a little late for thousands of people whose livelihoods depend on the health of the Gulf, not to mention for the 11 workers who were killed during the blast.