BP Chief Tells MPs Gulf Spill Was "Devastating To Me"

BP's departing boss Tony Hayward has told MPs that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill was "devastating" to him. Mr Hayward's personal responses to the explosion, which killed 11 workers, have been criticised in the past. On a visit to Louisiana to view the spill's damage, Mr Hayward had told reporters he "wanted his life back". The Commons Energy Committee is questioning both Mr Hayward and BP's head of safety, Mark Bly, on the firm's attitude to safety. Asked whether BP paid sufficient regard to safety matters, Mr Hayward told the committee that over the past three years the company had made a major investment in safety, spending $14bn (£9bn) and recruiting thousands of people. "And it is undeniably the fact that because of all of that, this particular incident is so devastating to me personally because we have made an enormous amount of progress in that three-year period," he said.My Hayward's demeanour was in contrast to when he faced a US Congressional committee, when he appeared crushed and evasive. He was then pilloried for failing to answer the committee's questions. In a veiled reference to that hearing, Tim Yeo, the chairman of the energy and climate change committee, has warned his colleagues not to use Mr Hayward's appearance for "point scoring" rather than serious inquiry. One issue the UK committee is considering is whether UK offshore oil safety rules need to be changed as a result of the Gulf of Mexico spill.