Jane Van Ryan
Posted June 17, 2010
BP CEO Tony Hayward submitted testimony to a House panel today, saying that he is "deeply sorry" for the tragic Deepwater Horizon incident, adding that it was "complex accident, caused by an unprecedented combination of failures."
"To be sure, neither I nor the company is perfect...but we are unwavering in our commitment to fulfill all our responsibilities," Hayward wrote to the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
Yesterday, Hayward accompanied BP's Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg to a closed White House meeting with the president. When they emerged, President Obama announced that BP had agreed to set aside $20 billion to pay damages claims from the oil spill as well as a $100 million fund to compensate unemployed rig workers affected by the deepwater drilling moratorium.
"BP is a strong and viable company and it is in all of our interests that it remain so," the president said. "So what this is about is accountability. At the end of the day, that's what every American wants and expects."
But at the hearing today, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) apologized to BP for what he called the "shakedown" on a corporation for a "$20 billion slush fund," noting that "it's unprecedented in our nation's history."
While the political firestorm over the oil spill swirls through Washington, several controlled burns were conducted on the Gulf's surface yesterday. Also, BP began collecting crude oil through a second containment system.
Using a manifold and hoses placed on the seabed for the top kill procedure, BP is siphoning oil and gas to the Q4000 ship which will burn the hydrocarbons in an EverGreen burner. The company is expected to announce the amount of oil and gas captured by this second system as soon as measurements are available.
Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen yesterday told reporters BP should be able to gather 53,000 barrels of crude oil per day by the end of June. Scientists now estimate between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels of oil a day could be flowing from the damaged Macondo well. Hayward told members of Congress today that equipment will be in place to capture as much as 60,000 to 80,000 barrels of oil per day by mid-July.
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