June 16th, 2010
05:53 PM ET

BP's Hayward 'deeply sorry' for Gulf oil disaster

The Gulf of Mexico oil disaster "never should have happened," and BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward says he is "deeply sorry" that it did.

Hayward is scheduled to appear Thursday at a House subcommittee hearing on the oil rig explosion and fire that killed 11 workers and set off the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. In written testimony obtained by CNN, Hayward repeatedly says he is fully aware of the harm caused to the Gulf Coast region and commits BP to "do what we can to make certain that an incident like this does not happen again."

"Let there be no mistake - I understand how serious this situation is," Hayward's testimony says. "This is a tragedy: People lost their lives; others were injured; and the Gulf Coast environment and communities are suffering. This is unacceptable, I understand that, and let me be very clear: I fully grasp the terrible reality of the situation."

Read Hayward's complete written testimony

Hayward says he was personally devastated by the deaths of the 11 workers and called attending their memorial service "a shattering moment."

"I want to offer my sincere condolences to their friends and families - I can only imagine their sorrow," Hayward says in the written testimony. "My sadness has only grown as the disaster continues."

Saying he wants to speak directly to the people of the Gulf region, Hayward adds: "I know that this incident has profoundly impacted lives and caused turmoil, and I deeply regret that." He notes that many of BP's 23,000 U.S. employees live and work in the Gulf Coast region, and that BP has always tried to be "a good neighbor."

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Filed under: BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Mich

    Dude, you destroyed the Gulf of Mexico, the coastlines and wildlife of several states, and the lives of thousands of families who now have no way to live. Sorry don't cut it.

    June 16, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Anita D, Price

    I have watched the commentary everyday of the BP Oil disaster and I am dismayed, as everyone is, that theoil is still spewing out of the broken pipe on the ocean floor. I feel however that we , as a nation, should be careful in how we handle the BP executives and thir company. Engalnd is America's strongest ally and has been for years. I believe BP is doing as much as they can and will continue to try every thing nown toman to cap the well. My understanding is that a cut off valve on the equipent used for the well failed and I also believe this valve was on a piece of American equipment made by either Haliburton oe Trans Oceanic. Should we not put some of the blame on them? We could foreseeabley, lose BP Contracts. There is oil of the coast of Brazil I believe and as much pressure and bad mouthing that BP has taken lately, Maybe they will bow out of the Us waters and the rath of the nation and head south. Could happen and then we would be stuck with giant platforms in the gulf doing nothing. What has happened to civility. Everyone is so rude and blunt nowadays.I cringe at what I hear and see on TV. I think Anderson Cooper is a fine reporter, and has always been my favorite, but even he is going over the top. Back dow, Work together, be civil and quite stirring everyone up into a frenzy.

    When I hear our President ( whom I voted for and greatly admire) laying down the law about how much money should be set aside for the fishermen ans the Tourism industry I want to scream " Who says" BP paid through the nose I am sure for the right to drill there. Lives have been lost, people are out of work, things happen. I didn't see anyone bailing out the Michigan Auto workers when the auto industry practically went under. And what about the Governor of Florida saying he needs reparition for hotels who have lost or think they will lose money this year. I amin the hotel business in Arizona. We have many,many problems in our hospitality industry. When President Obama went after AIG and other large Wall Street companies, we lost millionsof dollars due to large corporate groups cancelling meeting, some being afraid to book in hotels that were perceived to be to high end. I didn't see any dollars coming our way to bail us out. This entire thing is out of line. Come on America, pull yourself up by the bootstraps. Quit looking for scapegoats and easy ways out. I have lived in this country country 53 years, became an American citizen in 1961 and have always been so proud to be American. Now, I feel the desire to return to England . I no longer understand why Americans are so rude.

    June 16, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      The valve that broke was a cheaper ($200,000) valve that BP opted to use rather than spend the money to buy a $500,000 valve. So yes, the blame is on them. Bottom line thinking. Works every time!

      June 16, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. qwerasdf

    In before the spammer posts his link to his MS paint drawings of solutions BP should've used with poor english.

    June 16, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dallas

    ExxonMobile, Conoco, Shell are no different from BP. BP simply got caught with their pants on the ground.

    June 16, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jason

    No, sorry. Don't buy it. The time to apologize and express regret about this disaster would have been right when it happened. Instead, Hayward expressed a desire to "get his life back." What he's feeling now isn't sorrow or empathy. It's guilt. He should feel it the rest of his days, because you know who else would like to "get their life" back? Everyone living along the Gulf Coast. Not to mention the wildlife, and the families of the workers that were killed or injured in the initial rig explosion. Someone should tell Hayward that actions speak louder than words. You REALLY feel sorry, rich man? Move to the Gulf and live there and work every day for the rest of your life to undo the damage your company has done. Then MAYBE, just MAYBE we'll believe you're sorry.

    June 16, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. limeybeansmustgo

    The time for Sorry is when this is over. You ain't done yet. You hire every crew and every skimmer from here to timbuktwo, and start cleaning that up. No more disperants. You ass&^les are going to do this the expensive hard way for that cheap oil.

    June 16, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bullhornman

    Obama can now get his carbon tax in that turns us into a 1 world government. That is why he was styled and profiled for you sheep. In copenhagen last December most knew that global warming was a fraud. I just had the coldest winter in Florida since I have been here. It was actually the coldest of all time. Funny how CEO's of BP and Goldman Sachs dumped alot of BP stock 2 weeks to 2 days before this underwater volcano full of magma pushed the oil out of its well at rates we can't stop.

    June 16, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Logical Thinker

    Short and sweet.

    Svandberg: You're no different than your counterpart Haywood. AND YOU'RE SWISS!!! UGGHHH!!!

    Haywood: I understand how words under pressure can be misconstrued but C'MONNNNNN!!!!

    BP: I prefer you not go bankrupt. There are investors in your employees as well as the bottom feeders you cozy up to.

    The general public: Let 'em work. They'll pickup the speed on the payments to the damaged (unlike their skill in oil tragedies) but unless any of you own a red cape and blue tights, please shut up about the capture process. I insist you leap on their backs once more BP stupidity hits our airwaves (and it will) but we're basically spectators here and we DO want BP to succeed in this cleanup. For the sake of all of us.

    To the six figured plus BP corporate employees: It'll be a lifetime before you need to tighten your belts so if we hear one freakin' peep outta any of you clueless upper echelon idiots, we're taking you down. We allowed you your millions up until now so I suggest you button it and pray you don't join the Louisiana bread line and the hazing whack line also.

    Have a good night all.

    June 16, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bill

    Why apologize – you brought this on yourselves wanting all the oil for nothing. The apology should come from America to the peole of Bhopal where an American company killed thousands and left contnuing death and illness. – THAT is a tragedy, not the Gulf. They ran away and did nothing – but of course America is the only country that matters in the world, No wonder you are losing so much power everwhere – Obama certainly is helping that decline with his temper tantrums.

    June 16, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • lilmisswonderful

      Bill, did you not know that the oceans create 97% of the atmospheres oxygen so we on the planet earth can breath, also the ocean flows into the entire worlds water supply...and the Eco-system is dying...this is a universal catastrophe and it effects everyone...Too much time has been wasted when they could of started cleaning it when it happened, instead of trying to pass the buck...BP definitely should of had some sort of effective plan set up to clean the oil spill before it ever happened. From my understanding of what I've heard from the media that if BP did not decide to NOT change the pipes that they were drilling out of that was supposed to be changed, but they (BP) decided out of greed to save some money and cut corners...I just hope and pray that this mess will get cleaned up but I think the major damage is already done:(

      June 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Smith in Oregon

    Today President Obama DID what no Republican lawmaker, nor Republican President has ever done NOR even tried.

    President Obama sat down with BP's Big Oil CEO and demanded a whopping 20 BILLION dollar escrow fund be set up to provide immediate funding to equipment, Gulf business, and Gulf resident Oil Spill related claims.

    As early as last week ALL of the Republican Lawmakers including House Congressional Minority John (drill baby drill) Boehner and US Senate Minority Leader Mitch (drill baby drill) McConnell who ALL stated that Federal Government AND BP needed to Pay for all the costs incurred. These crass and extremely callous comments spewing out of the mouths of the Republican leaders who have obstructed Unemployment benefits and a wide range of legislation over their hypocritical mantra of fiscal responsibility!

    Democratic President Obama from the beginning insisted that BP PAY for ALL of the damage, cleanup, claims, equipment and vessels needed to clean, correct and fix the damages incurred from BP's Crude Oil spill.

    Undoubtedly, with pre-existing lax and lame Gas and Oil laws written by Republican lawmakers over many decades severely limit liability and responsibility by Big Oil, Gas and Coal companys when accidents occur. AND Republican placed Federal Judges across the Gulf Region (50%) were elected directly with the help of Big Oil funding their campaigns. AND Bush jr. placed Big Oil's friend US Supreme Court Chief Justice into his jurist position.

    ALL of this, President Obama faced down with courage and conviction to force BP and its team of corporate Gas and Oil attorneys. It is likely President Obama had found evidence of neglect to follow reasonable safety regulations and President Obama suggested America would pull the extremely lucrative US Military Fuel contract from BP if BP didn't OK that enormous 20 BILLION dollar escrow account. Yes, that is hardball and that is why America needs a man such as President Obama and more Democratic lawmakers elected into public service.

    June 16, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Craig S

    I have also been watching this story unfold. Above and beyond the horrific event iteself, I think it has shown a lot about the state of American society. It has become a nation of hatred, greed and laziness – both corporate and personal. You have changed from a can-do nation to a can-sue nation. A nation more concerned with flash than substance, marketing more than manufacturing. Bullying more than building. The "american dream" has changed from building a better mousetrap to winning the lottery, a law suit or american idol. Maybe BP should fold and hand over the keys to the government so that the assets can be sold to the highest bidder in order to finance payouts to the injury lawyers and scammers who will likely receive more compensation than those truly harmed by the incident. Of course the only ones with the pockets deep enough to buy the assets would be from China – and yet another piece of the american spirit that everyone is proud of will disappear. God bless you all – this fight is about more than just an oil spill.

    June 16, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Baboo

    Hey Craig,

    Is it raining in your little corner of England? Why don't you stuff some fish 'n chips up your azz, and stop the America-bashing. What a bunch of pseudo-philosophical tripe!

    June 16, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Craig S

      Baboo – Thanks for your reply. I don't need to add any more to this string than you already have.

      June 16, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JPR

    Wow the posts here are ridiculously harsh. Give Hayward a break. He's the CEO. He wasn't directly involved in any decisions around drilling and securing the well. He wasn't making cementing, casing, or seal decisions. Part of his job, however, is to support and foster a safe work environment. BP, as well as all of the integrated energy companies, have very strong safety cultures. You HAVE to be safe to operate in this environment. Do research and understand what best practices are put into place for safety. Ask any rig worker. The reality is that a small group of individuals made some poor decisions- decisions that went against the process controls and safety culture in place. It's the human element that failed here- not BP or Hayward.

    BP is doing everything they can. To those that say they haven't paid anything, they've already paid billions in clean-up costs and will continue to pay. Any ethical company will pay for everything (even if they don't have to), and BP is no exception. Instead of jumping on the "angry bandwagon" like our ineffective President Obama, how about taking a moment to show support for BP's efforts? Teams of hard-working people, just like you and me, are at work in BP trying to fix this disaster.

    On a side note, Obama is totally ridiculous. All he has done from the beginning was dictate and pretend the progress was because of him while playing "who can be madder" in front of a national audience. BP would have done all of those things anyway.

    To address comments around the greed of oil companies: Think critically, or rather...just think. Oil companies make huge profits because they are huge companies and operate in over 180 countries. Just like Wal-Mart! The difference with oil companies is that their risk is infinitely greater and their profit margins are substantially lower. Compare the 7-10% profit margin of an oil company to the 30+% profit margin of a pharmaceutical or retail company. Who's screwing you again? These energy companies collectively employ over 300,000 people that work hard to meet the world's ever increasing energy needs. They supply the very energy that heated your latte this morning, powers the computer you are typing hypocritical comments on, and probably made the plastic of the bottle you fed your baby with this morning. Hard-working people making a difference in the world. Think for yourselves...think differently...and don't fall into the biased anti-oil company trap of the media. Did you know Gulf production accounts for 27% of U.S. domestic oil supply? Imagine if we didn't have energy companies to help fuel our progress.

    June 16, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. lakek

    What does BP stand for? It was, years ago, British Petroleum. Then it was Beyond Petroleum. Actually, it is simply Bad People.

    June 16, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. arash mohammadi

    hi sorry for my english (not perfect0

    i think if thay can make emtty room without grand and make couples holes around that room and send that onder water
    and after that thay make sacend room without holes for cover first room and send that also ounder water (now) that is so much easyer to cover the oile (this is easy to say but diffycoult to do)
    that is my idee if thay can do some like this in 2 weeks thay got the job done this is from one iranian , ilegal emagerition from netherland that stay 11 years in netherland and around 7 years have no identety
    i wish you peaple good louk and sorry for my english

    June 17, 2010 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
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