BP CEO: Gulf Coast Oil Spill Is Relatively ‘Tiny’ Compared To ‘Very Big Ocean’

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May 14, 2010 7:36 a.m.

BP CEO Tony Hayward isn’t just off message — he’s way off message.

In an interview with the Guardian, Hayward declared that the giant oil spill in the gulf (still gushing thousands of gallons of oil a day into the sea) and the hundreds of thousands of gallons of “dispersant” BP has pumped into the water to combat the slick are “tiny” compared to the “very big ocean.”

The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume.

Tough timing. Just this morning, there were multiple reports suggesting that scientists now believe the amount of oil gushing into the gulf is higher than originally estimated.

“We will fix it,” Hayward told the Guardian. “I guarantee it. The only question is we do not know when.”

Hayward also acknowledged that BP made some initial missteps in its response to the spill — “It was a bit bumpy to get it going. We made a few little mistakes early on.” — and said it’s possible that his job might one day be in jeopardy as a result of the spill.

Asked if he felt his job was already under threat, he replied: “I don’t at the moment. That of course may change. I will be judged by the nature of the response.”

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