Change of guard and tone at BP

It was good to hear the US Ambassdor on the radio yesterday use BP’s proper name, say it is a multinational Group and point out it has 38% of its assets in the USA. He did so in response to some words from a past posting on this website which were put to him. These were the simple points I was making, to try to ensure a proper perspective on the tragedy. I fully understand that this bad accident has upset many people in the affected area whose lives have been badly affected and who deserve compensation and assistance.

I hope the change of CEO will make it easier for BP and the US administration to work together on the final resolution of the bad oil spill. I also look forward to a full account of this disaster, which gets to the bottom of the roles and responsibilities of all involved in the oil drilling, oil service, and oil prospecting companies and amongst the regulators.

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5 Comments

  1. Norman
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    BP served it's purpose as bogeyman to divert attention from the Democrat government while the well was gushing oil into the Gulf. Now that it has been successfully capped and the relief wells are almost at TD I imagine President Obama sees vilifying BP as less of a priority.

    They've nationalised $20-$30 billion (initially) of BP's profits over the next however many years so there's nothing really left to fight about. BP will have a firesale of US assets over the next year or two (one company I do work for just acquired $7bn worth in Alaska) and concentrate more on other areas of the world.

    The new CEO of BP and the renaming of the US regulator MMS to something I can't remember (and daresay no one else can which must be the point of the exercise) will also help.

    • Simon
      Posted July 26, 2010 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Hello Norman ,

      Why is BP engaging in a fire sale of US assets ?

      Because the administration will be obstructive specifically towards BP to the point where they will be unable to economically exploit those resources ?

      Or because BP needs to raise capital ?

      How bad a price will BP get for these assets ?

  2. Mark
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    It is perhaps unfortunate that Hayward has been the fall guy here. He did after all secure the job through being willing to criticise the top management under Browne over the lack of safety standards at Texas City Refining, the former Amoco refinery close to NASA Mission Control that suffered a major explosion and loss of life, and make safety a proper priority. If those standards were not being adequately enforced in BP America (which will be a topic of investigation), it was because some "old guard" management still remained, not because Hayward believed in compromising safety. Compare this with the Shell reserves (accounting problem-ed), (where the role and views of the top management was less clear -ed – replacing named allegations)

  3. Steve
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Nobody comes out of this mess with any credit. BP has made many mistakes and misjudgements. Obama has acted like a petty brat instead of a global statesman. What annoys me most, though, is the way that the American public is behaving as if the Gulf of Mexico is some unspoilt pristine paradise, which BP has now turned into a larger version of the La Brea tar pits. The fact is that the Gulf is home to what is probably the largest dead marine zone in the world, mainly caused by runoff of excessive agricultural chemicals into the Mississippi. Of course Macondo is a disaster, and is causing a huge mess, nobody is arguing that, but put it into perspective beside the millions of tons of nitrogen and phosphorous that is washed into it every year by American agriculture, causing some of the worst hypoxic conditions anywhere. Why isn't Joe Sixpack clamouring for farmers to stop polluting the Gulf so badly? Why isn't Obama insisting that American agriculture should put up £20 billion to compensate fishermen and others affected by the dead zones? It all smacks of typical Yankee hypocrisy, I'm afraid.

  4. christina sarginson
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Well done John we need to let people know who really own BP!!

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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