Support Marketplace

BP cost-cutting blamed

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: U.S. investigators say British petroleum giant BP took big risks by choosing to cut costs over safety. They claim the company was well aware of problems at its Texas City refinery prior to a fatal explosion last year. Fifteen workers died, 180 others were injured. Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports from London.


STEPHEN BEARD: America's Chemical Safety Board says it has found a potentially damaging series of internal BP reports .

They include surveys suggesting that the company knew it had significant maintenance problems at Texas City before the blast.

The head of the safety board, Caroline Merit, says the reports make a clear connection between the problems at the plant and the company's cost-cutting campaign:

CAROLINE MERIT:"One of the most telling surveys was completed only a few months before this accident. And it certainly was an indication that the cost cuts had impacted performance, maintenance and safety."

BP says it accepts full responsibility for the explosion and has allocated $1.6 billion to pay compensation. But the company denies that cost-cutting was a critical factor in the accident.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...