BP chief sold 33% of stock days after company requested advice “on how to respond to oil spills”

On June 5, The Telegraph reported:

Tony Hayward cashed in about a third of his holding in the company one month before a well on the Deepwater Horizon rig burst…

Mr Hayward, whose pay package is £4 million a year, then paid off the mortgage on his family’s mansion in Kent…

There is no suggestion that he acted improperly or had prior knowledge that the company was to face the biggest setback in its history. …

Since he disposed of 223,288 shares on March 17 , the company’s share price has fallen by 30 per cent.

However, evidence shows that BP executives were aware of the looming disaster before March 17.

According to the May 31 Bloomberg article BP Lacked Well Control Six Weeks Before Gulf Rig Disaster, E-Mails Show:

BP Plc told regulators six weeks before its well in the Gulf of Mexico exploded that workers were having trouble maintaining control, according to e-mails released yesterday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee investigating the spill.

“We are in the midst of a well control situation on MC 252 #001 and have stuck pipe, wrote [BP executive Scherie Douglas in a March 10 e-mail] referring to the subsea block, Mississippi Canyon 252, of the stricken well. We are bringing out equipment to begin operations to sever the drillpipe, plugback the well and bypass.

The e-mails shows that as early as the second week of March, BP was enlisting help from J. Connor Consulting Inc., a Houston-based firm that advises some of the world’s biggest energy companies on how to respond to oil spills.


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