Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

The Guardian: BP reshuffles US executives as problems in Alaska hit stock: Brent Coon called for Lord Browne to go to prison over the disaster.

Terry Macalister and Andrew Clark
Thursday November 2, 2006

The head of BP’s Alaskan business, Steve Marshall, has become the latest executive to change jobs after the oil company’s problems in North America affected its share price.

Mr Marshall is to be replaced as president of BP Alaska by an internal appointee, Doug Suttles, and will return to the London head office to look after an “operations academy”. The management shake-up in the troubled US operation has seen the post of president of BP North America created and a new head of the fire-hit Texas City refinery put in place.

BP has also brought in a former district judge to act as an independent “ombudsman” for US staff, as well as other outsiders, such as a panel of corrosion experts, to review the Alaskan business.

A BP spokesman said last night that Mr Marshall was not a victim of any purge.

“Steve was in place for five years and as one of our most experienced managers was well placed to come back here to head up the operations academy designed to ensure best practice throughout the group,” he said.

BP’s Alaskan pipelines have been hit by corrosion and oil spills, which led to its partial closure. This reduced production volumes and helped cut third-quarter profits, which were unveiled last week.

The financial figures were also affected by reduced output from the Texas City refinery, where 15 workers died and scores were hurt in an explosion in March 2005.

Compounding its American woes, BP will begin a courtroom showdown in Texas next week with Eva Rowe, who lost both her parents in the Texas City explosion. Ms Rowe’s attorney, Brent Coon, last night called for BP’s chief executive, Lord Browne, to go to prison over the disaster.

Lord Browne has been ordered by the court to give a deposition in the case, which alleges that maintenance cost cuts mandated by BP’s London headquarters caused the blast. In a conference call with reporters, Mr Coon said that he wanted Lord Browne brought to Texas to give evidence in person: “We don’t see any difference between someone getting drunk, driving down the road, and killing somebody, and someone ordering these budget cuts. If he’s the CEO of the company, he ought to be willing to come to Texas and do this.” A jury in the trial has the power to award unlimited damages. Mr Coon claimed the case was was “about as guaranteed a win as you can get”.,,1937037,00.html and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

0 Comments on “The Guardian: BP reshuffles US executives as problems in Alaska hit stock: Brent Coon called for Lord Browne to go to prison over the disaster.”

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: