BP CEO welcomes support amid US pressure
BP chief executive Tony Hayward said he welcomed political and business community support for the British oil giant, as it comes under fire from the White House, Sky News television said Saturday.
He also said he remained confident that the company had the financial resources to deal with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and insisted no decision had been taken on the company's second-quarter dividend.
Hayward said he welcomed the "very strong" support from the political and the business community.
"The best outcome is to keep BP strong and whole and working well so we can use our financial muscle to deal with this," he told Sky News.
"We have taken responsibility for the spill, committed enormous resources and we will stop the leak, clean up the oil and remediate the environmental impact. I am confident the company has the resources to do that."
US President Barack Obama, who has demanded BP scrap its shareholder dividend.
But Hayward said: "Things could look very different operationally by the time we have to make public our intentions on the dividend.
"A second containment operation will be up and running by early next week which can capture an additional 5,000 to 10,000 barrels a day; and a permanent containment operation is likely to be in place by the time of results.
"No decision has been taken on the dividend. The next board meeting is on Monday and right now all options are open."
BP's share price has plunged by as much as 49 percent, wiping tens of billions of dollars off its market value, since the BP-operated Deepwater Horizon rig sank on April 22.
The accident, following a explosion that killed 11 people two days earlier, sparked an enormous oil spill from a leaking well head on the sea bed.
The disaster has seen huge amounts of oil wash up on the US Gulf coastline, threatening precious wildlife and local communities, and provoking the wrath of the White House.
© 2010 AFP