BP CEO calls on oil industry to collaborate on offshore safety

08 March 2011 20:45  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--BP chief executive Robert Dudley on Tuesday praised findings from the US presidential commission on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, calling on the industry to “take seriously the commission’s challenge to work together more effectively”.

“The industry faces an unprecedented risk profile in the coming decades,” he said at the CERAWeek 2011 energy conference in Houston.

Rising oil demand and supply shortages from traditional sources will force the industry to look to “new and increasingly challenging frontiers”, Dudley said.

“These include the Arctic, unconventional sources, and yes, the deep water,” he said.

Dudley pointed to the BP-created company Marine Well Containment, asking other industry operators to collaborate with it on safety techniques in the years ahead.

“For example, the Arctic is the next frontier,” Dudley said. “It has all the challenges of offshore operations, plus the challenge of ice for three-quarters of the year.”

“What should the industry do collectively here?” he asked.

For that, Dudley said he expected a new generation of blow-out preventers (BOP) within 10 years, representing a major advance on those used at present.

“But will we have standards in place to make sure everyone has to use them?” he asked.

BP said it was working closely with industry groups on such standards.

In addition to industry-wide practices, BP pointed to events it had undertaken itself to potentially increase offshore safety.

For example, the company is building a next-generation capping stack in the North Sea, Dudley said, based on what it learned from the one that shut in the Gulf well.

Also, a new company-safety organisation, formed following the spill, was already paying dividends, he said.

Dudley said that BP understood its responsibility to rebuild trust within the industry and with consumers, offering to speak directly about its experiences and recommendations with other industry firms.

"Our experience from last year may be useful [for other companies]," he said.

The CERAWeek 2011 conference lasts through Friday.

For more on BP visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Ben DuBose
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