BP CEO Says "Deeply Sorry" for Oil Spill
    2010-06-18 00:59:41     Xinhua      Web Editor: Xu Leiying

BP CEO Tony Hayward testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee regarding BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and oil spill on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 17, 2010. [Photo: CFP]

Special: Oil Spill Impact

Tony Hayward, CEO of British Petroleum which is responsible for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, said Thursday that the disaster "never should have happened" and he is "deeply sorry that they did."

"The explosion and fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon and the resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico never should have happened -- and I am deeply sorry that they did," Hayward said in testimony before a House Energy and Commerce Committee panel.

"When I learned that 11 men had lost their lives in the explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon, I was personally devastated," he said. "I want to offer my sincere condolences to their family and friends."

"I want to speak directly to the people who live and work in the Gulf region: I know that this incident has profoundly impacted lives and caused turmoil, and I deeply regret that," he said.

Hayward's first appearance before Congress since the start of the worst environmental disaster in the country's history was interrupted by a protester with her hands painted black and yelling "you need to be charged with a crime Tony." She was then overwhelmed by the police and taken out of the chamber.

The CEO said BP is doing everything in its power to secure the well and contain the flow of oil. He also promised that the company will pay all legitimate claims for losses and damages from the spill.

Hayward testified one day after his company announced it would suspend dividend payments for the rest of the year and create a 20- billion-dollar escrow fund for damages.

"I understand the seriousness of the situation," he said. "I know that only actions and results, not mere words, can ultimately give you the confidence you seek."
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