New BP Boss Vows To Stay The Course In Gulf Clean-Up

Incoming BP boss Bob Dudley Friday vowed the British energy giant would stand by Gulf residents for years to come, as it prepared to scale back clean-up efforts and move to a new phase. Making his first trip to the region since he was named to take over the helm of the British energy giant, Dudley said with no oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico for two weeks the company's focus was shifting to long term recovery. "We've had some good news on the oil... but that doesn't mean we're done. We'll be here for years," Dudley told reporters in Mississippi, one of the five states hit by the massive oil spill. BP next aims to drown the well in an operation dubbed a "static kill" in which mud and cement will be injected down through the ruptured wellhead via a cap installed on July 15. Dudley confirmed the operation had been pushed back by a day, saying "we are hopeful by Tuesday the static kill will have been performed."US pointman on the crisis, Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, said the operation had been delayed as engineers had to clear out debris from the damaged wellhead caused by a recent storm. "Some of the sediment around the sidewalls sort of fell in on itself... It's not a huge problem but it has to be removed before you can put the pipe casing down," Allen said. A further final measure to seal the leak from the bottom by injecting heavy drilling fluids into the casing via a relief well, still in the process of being drilled, will be carried out by the end of August, Dudley said. With the focus now moving towards mitigating the long-term impact of the nation's worst oil spill triggered by an April 20 explosion on a BP-leased rig off Louisiana, Dudley said there would be signs that operation was changing. Miles of boom will be withdrawn from coastlines, and fewer clean-up crews in hazmat suits would be seen on beaches no longer soiled by oil. "So you'll probably see that kind of a pullback. But commitment, absolutely no pullback," he pledged. It remains unknown just