Chevron, other firms helping BP, US govt with Gulf oil spill

30 April 2010 17:51  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Chevron and other oil companies are helping BP and government agencies as they try to contain an oil leak from a destroyed platform in the Gulf of Mexico, a Chevron official said on Friday.

"We have offered assistance to BP, MMS (Minerals Management Service), and government agencies," Chevron chief financial officer Pat Yarrington said. "Equipment, people, processes, whatever is needed."

Other companies had also stepped up to help, she noted, without naming them.

"It is a consortium of effort under way here," Yarrington said on an earnings conference call with analysts, who posed repeated questions about how Chevron and other oil companies might be affected by the disaster in the longer term.

Earlier Friday, a top aide to President Barack Obama said no further offshore drilling would be allowed until the government better understood the cause of the oil spill from BP's sunken Deepwater Horizon rig.

Yarrington said it was too soon to say what the implications of the accident would be for future leasing and drilling activity, or for safety costs.

She did not answer directly when asked if oil supply to Chevron's 330,000 bbl/day Pascagoula refinery in Mississippi might be impacted, but separately stressed that Chevron's operations in the Gulf had not been affected.

Moreover, people should not jump to any conclusions about the accident or its aftermath, Yarrington said.

"We wouldn't want to pre-judge or leap too quickly, and I'm sure Congress and the (Obama) administration would be the same way," she said.

Environmental groups have seized upon the oil spill as evidence to back their arguments against offshore drilling.

Just a month ago, the Obama administration announced plans to open up much of the US east coast to oil and natural gas drilling, a move that drew praise from the petroleum industry but criticism from biofuels makers and environmental groups.

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