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Last Updated: Monday, 18 September 2006, 16:50 GMT 17:50 UK
BP reviews its global operations
US oil refinery operated by BP
BP is facing a number of US lawsuits
BP is undertaking a top-to-tail review of its global operations in response to last year's Texas refinery blast.

The five to ten year project is being led by John Mogford, BP's vice president of safety and operations.

The overhaul may placate key investors who have sought meetings with BP after a series of US incidents raised questions about its safety record.

But in a fresh setback, delays to its Thunder Horse rig in the Gulf of Mexico mean output will not begin until 2008.

New blow

The facility, which when operational will be capable of producing 250,000 barrels of oil a day, was due to open last year but was damaged by a hurricane.

Safety tests have now revealed defects in metal components, requiring the firm to rebuild all sea-bed production equipment involved in the deepwater project.

Oil and gas production will not now begin until the middle of 2008 at the earliest, while BP said it could not say at this stage what the cost of the new delay would be.

A series of incidents at BP's facilities over the past 18 months have raised questions about the firm's safety record.

On top of the fatal Texan blast, leaky pipes have hit Alaskan production.

BP's Prudhoe Bay oil field, the largest in the US, was partially closed last month after serious corrosion was found in pipelines.

Legal charges

The company is facing US legal charges relating to both events, and is also being investigated over the alleged manipulation of crude oil and petrol prices.

Last week, the Financial Times reported that a number of leading investors, including Morley Fund Management, were seeking one-to-one meetings with BP bosses to discuss their concerns.

Mr Mogford was appointed last year and has a team of 45 people attempting to standardise procedures worldwide, taking advice from operations staff at ground level.

Their work is being monitored by another group of 45 auditors.

The review is similar to the major overhaul introduced by US oil giant Exxon following its Alaskan oil tanker spill in 1989.

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