Earlier this week, we established what the new BP will look like under the Hayward Regime. Less spa treatments. More tequila. Less “earth friendly”-type business. Now let’s take a look at what’s on Hayward’s to-do list for the next couple of months.
1. Keeping casualties on the BP premises at a minimum. Or, keeping news of deaths on the company’s watch at a minimum. The company has “suffered a series of accidents” in the last several years, and the critics have claimed they’re due to safety controls on par with airport security pre 9/11 and excessive cost cutting. In March 2005, an explosion at a Texas City refinery killed 15 and injured a few hundred more. So that looks kind of bad. As does the fact that it all could’ve been avoided had the higher-ups at the refinery heeded “serious warning signals.”
2. Keeping oil spills at a minimum. Last year there was one of those in Alaska, shutting down the nation’s biggest field, revealing “widespread corrosion problems in the pipeline network that BP operates” and “a Justice Department inquiry that is continuing.”
3. Getting shmoozy in Washington, where “frustration with BP seems to be rising.”
In a letter sent to John Malone, BP’s top executive in the United States, John D. Dingell, the Michigan Democrat who is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said that the company’s attitude raised concerns that “shortsighted cost-cutting could have led to the spills and corrosion problems in Alaska.” A Congressional hearing on BP’s operations in Alaska, which was scheduled for yesterday, was postponed at the last minute at BP’s request.
4. Not letting the Russian’s get the upper hand (if we’ve told you once, we’ve told you a thousand times—the Cold War is still very alive and well).
BP has said it wants to hold on to its stake in its joint venture in Russia, TNK-BP. But analysts suggest it may be forced to take on a minority position if the Russian government buys out its local partners, a possible outcome given the Kremlin’s de facto policy of increasing the state’s control over the Russian energy sector.
5. Not fucking up.
“Hayward cannot afford any more mistakes,” Mr. Gheit said. “All the lights are on him. He is going to be tested.”