30 Sep 2010

New safety unit being formed by BP

7:13 am on 30 September 2010

BP has announced plans to form a new safety unit, following the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

The BBC reports the new safety division will have sweeping powers to oversee and audit the company's global operations, including the authority to intervene in operations to uphold safety standards.

Mark Bly, who headed BP's internal investigation into the hugely damaging US oil spill, will run the new unit.

BP hopes the new unit, along with a number of other organisational changes, will help rebuild trust in the company.

Mr Bly will report directly to Bob Dudley, who takes over as chief executive on 1 October.

BP said safety personnel would also be embedded in its operations around the world.

The BBC reports it is also splitting its upstream business into three divisions - exploration, development and production - in a move to focus on specialist expertise.

As part of that reorganisation, it will examine how it manages third-party contractors.

Post mortem result

BP's internal investigation, published last month, blamed a "sequence of failures involving a number of different parties" for the oil leak which happened after an explosion and fire on Deepwater Horizon oil rig on 20 April.

The leak took until 15 August to stop.

BP said it was responsible in part for the disaster, but also placed some blame on other companies working on the well.