Market News

 January 04, 2016
BP boss: The Gulf of Mexico oil spill was a 'near-death experience' for us

 The Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010 was one of the world's worst environmental disasters, and it cost energy giant BP about $40 billion (£27 billion) in fines, compensation, and settlements.

BP's CEO Bob Dudley told BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Saturday morning that the "tragic accident," which killed 11 men and saw more than 3 million barrels of oil flow into Gulf waters, shook the company "to its core" and was "a near-death experience" for the energy firm.

"Sometimes it takes a near-death experience to radically change a company. It was a forced focusing down of what we do. It was this is what we need to do to survive," he said to Lord Browne, who was guest editor on the radio programme and who happened to also be a former BP executive.

The spill was so bad that it affected the shorelines of five states --- Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida --- and caused catastrophic consequences for the ecosystems and local economies.

And the local ecosystems are still trying to recover after the spill killed off a lot of fish and animals in the local areas.

In 2012, BP accepted responsibility for the disaster and agreed to pay $4.4 billion (£3bn) to the US government to settle its criminal liability.

However, in total since then, various other fines, compensation, and lawsuits have totaled nearly $40 billion (£27 billion), and BP has sold off more than $45 billion (£30 billion) in assets to cover the costs.