BP 'changing,' top executive says

March 9, 2011 at 9:08 AM
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HOUSTON, March 9 (UPI) -- BP is committed to earn back the trust of the U.S consumer while looking to frontier developments to exploit much-needed reserves, an executive said in Houston.

BP is struggling to repair its image after last year's deadly rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. The April sinking of the Deepwater Horizon platform killed 11 workers and resulted in one of the worst accidental oil spills in the history of the industry.

"We need to earn back your trust, along with that of state and federal leaders and the trust of Gulf Coast residents and customers," said BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley in a statement at an energy conference in Houston. "We are determined we will once again restore that trust and I realize this requires action, not words."

Dudley said his company was conducting a "major review" of its risk management system to make sure its operations are reliable, safe and able to respond to any disaster swiftly.

He said that any suggestion that the energy industry didn't need major overhauls after the Deepwater Horizon accident was "unrealistic."

The world needs oil, he maintained, even though global economies are moving to a low-carbon future. Dudley said his company was "blazing new trails" in frontier developments in deep waters, the arctic environment and parts of the North Sea.

BP won't drill in deep waters, however, unless it knows it can respond immediately to shut the well in the event of an emergency.

"I hope that my messages today have been clear," he said. "BP is sorry. BP gets it. BP is changing."

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