Svanberg Makes Promises and Apologies
BP's chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg met with President Barrack Obama yesterday, and after days of negotiations the US president announced that BP would not make any further distributions to shareholders this year and would set aside billions of dollars to help pay for damages from a catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Swedish Radio News reported.
A $20 billion (160 billion kronor) fund would help pay damage claims from fishermen and others affected by the oil. The oil spill, the worst in US history, began after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded April 20. After several failed attempts at stemming the flow, BP has acknowledged that the oil will likely continue to gush from the well for months to come.
Svanberg had received cricitism for his relative quietness months after the oil spill began. After leaving the White House yesterday the Swedish Svanberg apologized to the American public, but made an apparent gaffe in translation saying "we care about the small people." Svanberg later apologized for speaking clumsily, the New York Times reported.