BP to reorganise operations
BP unveiled a reoganisation of its oil and gas production operations today, reversing a change it enacted after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The latest move is partly intended to free chief executive Bob Dudley up from close oversight of day-to-day operations so he can help chart BP's recovery from the disaster which killed 11 men and spilled 5 million barrels of crude into the sea, three sources close to the company said.
BP's shares have failed to recover since the Macondo well was capped, and Mr Dudley has been criticised for failing to communicate a strategy for growth.
Lamar McKay, currently head of BP's US operations, will become head of a new exploration and production (E&P) unit it called Upstream, a reinstatement of a role that was abolished in 2010, in the wake of the oil spill.
Mr McKay, like Mr Dudley, is a former executive from Amoco, the company BP took over in 1997 to join the top tier of the oil industry, making the British firm one of the three biggest.
BP directors agreed on the reorganisation some months ago, two sources said, but wanted to delay announcing it until it had made further progress with the US authorities on settling investigations around the spill.
The company said last week it would pay $4.5 billion (€3.47 billion) in penalties and plead guilty to criminal misconduct. A US government civil investigation could also lead to fines in excess of $20 billion and two BP engineers face manslaughter charges relating to the rig blast that led to the spill.
A BP spokesman said there were no changes planned to the safety unit, created in 2010 to signal BP was serious about safety after a series of disasters BP's shares were up 0.4 per cent at 435 pence at 13.56 GMT, against a flat DJ Stoxx European oil and gas sector index.