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Page last updated at 10:25 GMT, Thursday, 10 June 2010 11:25 UK

BP boss's US presence 'compounded tensions'

The BP oil crisis has not only been an environmental disaster. The spill and drawn out effort to stop the leaks have raised tensions and a cultural clash between the oil giant and the US.

"It was a mistake" for BP chief exec Tony Hayward "to be so present" in the US, former president of Shell Oil John Hofmeister told Today presenter Justin Webb.

Mr Hofmeister commented that Mr Hayward's "accent and style" of speaking "compounded" BP-US relations.

"BP is feeling a cumulative effect" of oil disasters in the US, he explained.

"This unprecedented event occurred simultaneously as vulnerabilities were beginning to show in the administration", he said.

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