Page last updated at 17:13 GMT, Wednesday, 15 September 2010 18:13 UK

BP boss "devastated" by oil spill

The Chief Executive of BP, Tony Hayward has told MPs he is "devastated" by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

11 workers died when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, causing an oil leak that became the worst environmental disaster in US history.

Giving evidence to the Energy and Climate Change Committee on 15 September 2010, he said the company had made a major investment in safety in recent years, spending $14bn (£9bn) and recruiting thousands of people.

Mr Hayward strongly denied cost-cutting was a factor in the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

An internal report by BP has said the blame should be shared by a number of companies working on the well, and not just BP.

BP faces billions of dollars worth of legal claims for compensation over the spill, the worst in recent US history.

An estimated 4.9m barrels of oil leaked into the Gulf after the blast, however scientists say only a fifth of the leaking oil - around 800,000 barrels - was captured during the clean-up operation.

The well was capped on 15 July, and an operation to permanently seal it is due to take place in the next few weeks.

Mr Hayward, who is to step down as chief executive next month, will be joined by Mark Bly, BP's group head of safety and operations.

The committee is holding an enquiry on what lessons can be learned for UK deep drilling and whether existing safety legislation needs to be changed.

Energy and climate change committee membership

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