“It is a tragic accident,” he told business news website E24.se. “Eleven people have lost their lives.”
The oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico has ensured a nightmare start for the former Ericsson CEO. Svanberg took over as oil giant BP’s non-executive chairman at the start of the year.
On April 20th, the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded, triggering a gigantic oil spill that is still ongoing. Having recently returned from the US, he explained that that was among other reasons why he had not commented extensively on the spill:
“There’s actually a pretty clear division of responsibilities,” he said. “CEO Tony Hayward and his team are those who are responsible for the company, and they are doing an altogether excellent and dedicated job in coping with this difficult situation.”
After the accident, many have questioned the challenges of risky oil drilling in deep water. However, Svanberg defended the company’s practices, saying all extraction is beset with risks, adding BP is taking responsibility for its actions.
“We will do everything humanly possible to contain the leak, clean up after ourselves and take care of all the requirements, “said Svanberg.