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BP cautious as markets weather uncertainties

A young seagull rests on boom used to contain the oil spill in Barataria Bay, La.

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Steve Chiotakis: Investors are cheered by the fact the British oil giant's temporary cap is holding for now on that leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. How is that going to bode for business going forward? Marketplace's Stephen Beard is with us live from London. Hi, Stephen.

Stephen Beard: Hello, Steve.

Chiotakis: So how much hope does the company place in this cap?

Beard: Well given the number of previous attempts that have failed, the company is sounding pretty cautious. BP says this is only a temporary measure, engineers are carefully monitoring the new cap. The company acknowledges the problem won't be probably solved until the relief wells are sunk by the end of July, middle of August. Only then can the oil be diverted and the damage piped closed and concreted in.

Chiotakis: And what about the company itself, Stephen? Is it safe to say BP is going to survive this disaster?

Beard: The markets have come to that conclusion, but of course there are still uncertainties about the cost of all of this. One thing seems certain, though: if BP does survive, its corporate culture will never be the same again. Before the disaster, analysts say BP rewarded and promoted aggressive go-getters within the company -- risk-takers. Chris Skrbowski of Peak Oil Consulting says that will have to change:

Chris Skrbowski: People who are good at safe operations, who are good at making sure that everyone follows the rules exactly and does all the right thing, will become favored within the company hierarchy -- in other words, promotion will come from that source.

He doesn't think BP will get out of deepwater drilling, by the way, but he says it'll have to work hard to convince governments around the world that safety is now its first priority.

Chiotakis: Marketplace's Stephen Beard, reporting from London. Thanks, Stephen.

Beard: OK, Steve.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.
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