A Louisiana federal court has accused BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP) of being grossly negligent in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico oil spill. This decision can cost the company around $18 billion in pollution fines. Discussing this ruling in a program on Bloomberg, David Eyton, group head of research and technology at BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP), said that the company had rejected the decision made by the court and it will file an appeal against it. He said that the facts presented in court do not justify the decision. Eyton admitted that the company has learnt from the disaster.
“[…] We have learnt a lot, both from that particular incident and more generally, through our experiences in deep water, and we have been sharing those lessons learnt with the industry and building them into what we do as BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP) including into our technology programs,” said Eyton.
Answering the question about specific actions taken by BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP) to ensure the avoidance of incidents like Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Eyton said that the company shrunk over the past few years as it sold many of its assets. The company is now focusing on improving the security by giving top priority to technology that can make the carriers safer.
Eyton commented about BP’s Project 20K which includes drilling six miles beneath the surface in deep waters. He said that the company has vast experience in deep water prior to this project and the boundaries are needed to be extended because of the growing industrial needs. He thinks that deep water projects ask for huge capital investments, but they can be attractive in terms of end revenues as compared to on-shore projects.
Eyton said that BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP) is working closely with Rosneft in the Russian Arctic waters and the company is interested in technology transfer into Russia because Russia can offer great resources in energy production.
Jim Simons‘s Renaissance Technologies is one of the biggest shareholders of BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP), having approximately 1.8 million shares of the company.