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Times Online: Crude denial

January 09, 2007
Mark Bridge
BP’s fourth quarter update is par for the course. Disappointing output figures and reams of explanation. We could and should be doing well, the statement says, but we’ve had such bad luck.

It is tempting to accept this. To read recovery into the slight gain on the third quarter. To buy the shares while they are down and wait for the dollars to roll in from a new, safe Prudhoe Bay. 
But the catalogue of disasters which have beset the firm speaks volumes about a lack of command and control and not about banana skins. Even the inevitable comparisons with a lumbering Royal Dutch Shell are damning.

Today’s other news on BP suggests that a change in culture is a long way off. The firm’s £2 billion Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which links the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean, has apparently been coated with a protective paint that is liable to crack. Cracks mean corrosion and that can mean leaks. Sound familiar?,,9072-2537934,00.html and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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