From British daily The Guardian:
Report accuses BP over safety
Fiona Walsh, business editor
Tuesday January 16, 2007
Oil giant BP was today accused of serious safety failures in the long-awaited Baker report, which was released this afternoon.
Stretching to 374 pages and more than a year in preparation, the report, by a review panel headed by former US sercretary of state James Baker, says that “material deficiencies existed at BP’s five US refineries in process safety management and BP had not implemented an effective process safety management system throughout its US refining line organisation”.
It added: “In the judgment of the review team, there is still much work for BP to do in order to achieve process safety excellence.”
The report highlighted what it called “instances of a lack of operating disciplines, toleration of serious deviations from safe operating practices, and apparent complacency toward serious process safety risks existing at each of the US refineries”.
It is seen as a damning indictment of BP’s safety culture, with the finger being pointed all the way up to main board level.
The review panel was established to investigate safety management systems at BP’s five US refineries and to examine its corporate safety culture.
It did not investigate specific incidents such as the Texas Refinery disaster in 2005 in which 15 people lost their lives and hundreds were injured.
BP has accepted responsibility for the Texas City refinery explosion and has already set aside $1.6bn (£816m) to compensate victims.