Macondo will someday be produced, BP executive says

Curtis Williams
OGJ Correspondent

PORT OF SPAIN, Apr. 27 -- An executive from BP PLC has predicted that the Macondo deepwater discovery in the Gulf of Mexico will someday eventually be produced.

Speaking with reporters in Port of Spain, BP Senior Vice-Pres. Kent Wells said it was clear that there was a significant reservoir found in Macondo and that while it may not be BP, some operator will eventually produce from the discovery.

When asked if BP will go back and try to produce Macondo, Wells said, “Clearly it was a discovery, clearly there is a good reservoir there, someday somebody is going to do that. I am not going to say it will be BP.”

Wells was quick to point out that producing the well is not a current priority for BP. He added that the company was focused on ensuring both that a similar type of accident does not happen anywhere else and that the environment is cleaned up and that people who were negatively impacted by the event are helped.

It was just over a year ago when the Macondo well blew out and exploded, killing 11 people and injuring many others. The accident is considered the largest maritime environmental disaster in US history. Wells said it was a $40 billion lesson that BP has been taught.

Wells said BP believes that ultimately the cost of the accident will be $40 billion and the company had set aside for it.

BP has bid on two blocks in Trinidad and Tobago’s deep water competitive bid round and Wells is assuring that should there be a similar incident the response will be the same.

Wells said, “If you look at what the laws are in the US, $75 million, we could have spent $75 million and wiped our hands and say no longer our responsibility by law. We said we would do the right thing at the beginning and we continue to do it.”

Wells said it does not matter where BP operates in the world it will do the right thing. “It’s easy to say those words but they have to be proven by action,” Wells said, insisting that BP has proven it keeps its word.

Wells said BP has instituted a more rigorous process that he expects would lead to an increase in the cost of drilling. However he said it was better to spend more money on safety than having unwanted consequences.

He said he did not know of any plan to sell its Trinidad and Tobago asset to help pay for the liabilities and added that the twin-island Caribbean nation was one of the biggest exploration and production business unit in the BP group of companies.

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