Belfast Telegraph

'No regrets' says former BP boss

Bp's former boss admitted the group's oil spill contingency plans were "inadequate" and said it was unprepared for the media "feeding frenzy" after the Gulf of Mexico disaster.

Tony Hayward, who stepped down as chief executive of BP at the end of September, told BBC's Money Programme the group was completely "overrun" by the "intensity of the media scrutiny" focused on the firm and its actions to plug the devastating oil leak.

But he defended his actions against a barrage of political and public criticism following a series of PR gaffes.

He said he was right to go sailing in a yacht race with his son at the height of the crisis - for which he received a media mauling - saying, "I'm not certain I'd do anything different."

"I have to confess, at the time I was pretty angry actually," he said.

"I hadn't seen my son for three months. I was on the boat for six hours between the hours of midnight and six o'clock in the morning US time. The only way I could see my son was to be with him on a boat race he was on."

Mr Hayward reflected on his performance in the public eye: "If I had a degree at RADA rather than a degree in geology I may have done better. I'm not certain it would have changed the outcome, but certainly the perception of myself may have been different."

Mr Hayward was replaced by Bob Dudley as chief executive after relinquishing the top job in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blast and spill.

The explosion on April 20 killed 11 workers and caused an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil to gush into the Gulf - the largest offshore spill in history.

BP permanently plugged the well in September.

BP's shares have been decimated since the spill and the group has forked out $11.2bn (£6.9bn) so far in clean-up efforts, while also creating a $20bn dollar (£12.4bn) compensation fund.