In a PBS interview yesterday billed as America’s chance to speak directly to BP about the oil spill, Bob Dudley admitted that the oil giant’s response to the Gulf disaster has been far from perfect and said the
Dudley, who heads BP’s spill response following Tony Hayward’s missteps, took questions submitted via YouTube and Google and ranked in importance by Internet voters. People asked whether the spill dispersant BP is using is safe, questioned the company’s disaster response plans and criticized its claims process.
Dudley countered those questions by saying that since the deepwater accident was without precedent, BP had to learn on its feet:
We’re dealing with this as best we know how. We’re not making it up as we go along, because we have the absolute best engineering and science minds in the world working on this. It’s just a very unusual problem that we’ve never faced before.
The BP exec said the spill will irrevocably change the oil and gas industry not just in the Gulf, but around the world. In particular, he said blowout preventers will need a full redesign:
I believe that the industry will have no choice except to go through — re-engineer these to make them more failsafe. We have, with airplanes, with nuclear power plants — we have a standard of safety which people regard as failsafe, as they need to be. We just had an event now, that is going to make us re-evaluate the oil and gas industry globally, no question in my mind.
Dudley also took a minute to respond to “BP Spills Coffee,” the viral video parody that brings the spill response into an office conference room. The parody embarrassed employees, he said, because BP is a very proud company.
Here’s the full interview with NewsHour’s Ray Suarez. You can also read a transcript here.