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BP believes law, facts are on its side in US Deepwater case – CEO

ICIS News : 6-Mar-13 17:45

HOUSTON (ICIS)--BP is “vigorously defending” itself against allegations of gross negligence in the events leading up to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, the company’s CEO said on Wednesday.

“We believe the law and the facts are on our side, and we have faith in the legal system,” Bob Dudley said during his keynote address at IHS CERAWeek.

The UK energy giant is a defendant in a federal civil court trial underway in New Orleans. The proceeding is the first of at least two phases for the trial and will focus on the cause of the Deepwater accident, who should be held responsible and to what degree.

In response to the accident, BP has spent more than $24bn (18bn) in response, cleanup and restorations costs and in payments on claims made by individuals, businesses and governments, Dudley said.

Despite ongoing litigation, BP remains deeply committed to the US Gulf, he said. The company has returned to exploration and development in the region, where the company is the largest deepwater leaseholder.

The company has about 750 leases in the Gulf and plans to invest $4bn/year over the next 10 years in the region, Dudley said.

“It’s a massive part of our portfolio,” he said.

Dudley said that the company’s return to work in the Gulf has come with a better focus on safety. Nearly three years after the Deepwater incident, BP has emerged as a “safer, stronger, more sustainable company”, he said.

“We have made good on those promises,” Dudley said. “We are honouring our commitments.”

($1 = €0.77)

By Jeremy Pafford
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