BP shuffles Alaska executives

01-11-2006

BP shuffles Alaska executives
Embattled oil giant BP has replaced the president of its Alaskan operations in an attempt to cope with the ongoing fallout of last year's leaks from BP's Prudhoe Bay pipeline.

Steve Marshall, who had been president of BP Exploration (Alaska) for five years, is to be replaced by Doug Suttles, who currently runs the group's operations in Sakhalin, Russia, on January 1st next year.

Mr Marshall will continue to work for BP in Alaska, but in an alternative capacity, BP said. He was forced to undergo extensive grilling from a congressional hearing into the Prudhoe Bay leaks earlier this year, as well as a lawsuit from investors who believe that the corrosion in the Alaskan pipeline was avoidable.

BP's Alaskan woes reflect wider difficulties for the oil company, which has suffered from delays to its Thunder Horse platform in the Gulf of Mexico and growing condemnation concerning the Texas City refinery explosion of March 2005, which killed 15 people.

The company yesterday admitted that it had been aware of problems at the Texan refinery prior to the blast and has set aside $1.6 billion (£0.84 billion) to pay compensation to victims and their families.

Following the news of changes to BP's leadership in Alaska today, share prices in the company rose by 0.33 per cent in the London stock exchange on early morning trading.


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