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BP scrutiny shifting from Hayward?

June 21, 2010 at 6:16 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, June 21 (UPI) -- BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward is leading the response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill despite the emergence of Managing Director Robert Dudley, BP says.

Hayward received a thumping last week from U.S. lawmakers frustrated over the response to the April sinking of the BP-operated Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Hayward sidestepped most of the questioning, deferring to an investigation still under way for the April disaster.

BP in early June said Dudley would take charge of an independent organization to handle the BP response to oil spills and to deal with subsequent financial issues in order to "restore trust and confidence in BP America." The British oil company, however, said Hayward was "still very much leading the response," The Wall Street Journal reports.

Dudley faced his own problems when he was run out of the Moscow office of Anglo-Russian venture TNK-BP in 2008.

Dudley fled Russia in 2008 citing "harassment" from Alfa-Access-Renova, a group representing Russian tycoons in the venture.

AAR said Dudley was managing the firm as a division of BP, while BP officials worried about the growing influence of Russia in the merger. BP later seated Dudley on its board of directors.

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