Ripples of Deepwater Horizon are felt around the world
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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: The U.S. government investigation into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has blamed cost cutting and management failures by BP and by other companies. The first chapter of the Presidential panel’s report is out today. It warns a disaster is likely to happen again without significant change in industry practice and government policies. While the disaster was in American waters, the ripples are being felt around the world.
Marketplace’s Europe Correspondent Stephen Beard is with us live from London with the latest. Hi Stephen.
STEPHEN BEARD: Hello Steve.
CHIOTAKIS: What effect will this report have in Europe and worldwide?
BEARD: I think it’s going to make quite a splash because the report talks about systemic failure throughout the oil industry. It’s interesting — today a UK Parliamentary inquiry has also reported this also was triggered by the Gulf of Mexico disaster. And this report says UK regulation of offshore drilling is superior to that under which the Deepwater Horizon operated. Things were tightened up here after a natural gas rig blew up in 1988 in the North Sea. The Piper Alpha disaster. But interestingly, this UK report out today says the UK should monitor any changes now in the U.S. regulatory regime to see if the U.S. now establishes a new gold standard of regulation which we should follow.
CHIOTAKIS: I imagine a new era of regulation wouldn’t be entirely embraced by the industry — will this slow offshore drilling in your parts of the world.
BEARD: No, I think it’s most unlikely. In fact the UK report says that there should not me a moratorium here. The North Sea is too important to the UK. It employs something like half a million people and provides two thirds of the country’s energy requirements.
CHIOTAKIS: And how is BP reacting to this report, Stephen?
BEARD: They issued a statement this morning acknowledging the report, saying they’ve already put many safety changes in place, and also noting with some satisfaction that they’re not the only ones in the frame — that the report blames Transocean and Halliburton too. And that’s reflected in BP’s shares. They were up this morning.
CHIOTAKIS: Marketplace’s Europe Correspondent Stephen Beard. Thanks.
BEARD: OK Steve.
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