BP execs rebuked over Alaska spill

08-09-2006

US politicians have slammed top BP executives for failing to prevent the corrosion of a major pipeline that led to the largest ever oil spill on Alaska's North Slope.

Appearing before the House energy and commerce committee, executives including Robert Malone, head of BP America, were rebuked by both Republicans and Democrats for the oil spill and the loss of about half the output of Prudhoe Bay, the largest US oil field, earlier this month.

Production at Alaska's Prudhoe Bay field slumped after inspections last month revealed severe pipeline corrosion, forcing BP to axe production while the leak was fixed.

Mr Malone said his firm had "fallen short" of the high standards it imposed upon itself.

The committee heard how BP enjoyed "bloated" profits while failing to fix leaking pipelines.

Executives at the world's third-biggest oil firm will also appear before the Senate energy and natural resources committee today.

BP yesterday said production at Prudhoe Bay could be back at full capacity (400,000 barrels per day) by the end of October.

Prudhoe Bay pumps out eight per cent of US domestic supply.

Mr Malone also said he had asked three "foremost" corrosion experts to independently review inspection procedures at Prudhoe Bay.


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