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Oil executives call spill a rare event

Oil executives call spill a rare event
ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson, Chevron Chairman and CEO John Watson, ConocoPhillips Chairman and CEO James Mulva, Shell Oil Company President Marvin Odum and BP America Inc. President and Chairman Lamar McKay (L to R) are sworn in prior to testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Committee Energy and Environment Subcommittee hearing regarding off shore oil drilling safety on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 15, 2010. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg | License Photo

WASHINGTON, June 15 (UPI) -- Oil executives testifying in Washington Tuesday labeled the Deepwater Horizon oil spill a rare event that has little chance of reoccurring.

Attempting to soften criticism of their industry and fend off the possibility of tighter regulations, Exxon Mobile Chairman Rex Tillerson told members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that if a company followed proper procedures, an explosion, such as the one that sank the rig operated in the Gulf of Mexico by BP "should not occur," The New York Times reported.

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Chevron Chief Executive Officer John Watson told panel members "Chevron's deepwater drilling and well control practices are safe and environmentally sound."

In separate testimony Lamar McKay, president of BP America, said he "cannot commit" to BP establishing a fund to pay for cleanup and restitution for the massive oil spill that has polluted gulf waters and U.S. shorelines.

The Obama administration has been pressuring BP to set up an escrow account to pay for damages.

McKay said, "We have said we'll honor all legitimate claims and the full company stands behind that."

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