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Hemscott.com: BP CEO sees ‘progress’ by end-2007, CFO to stay on until 2009

LONDON (Thomson Financial) – Tony Hayward, chief executive of BP PLC, is expecting progress in achieving a recovery in the oil major’s performance following a turbulent two years, marked by project delays and outages at its major US refineries.

‘I am determined that we should see progress by the end of the year and that the momentum will build steadily through 2008,’ Hayward told reporters at a news conference following the group’s second quarter results.

However in the near term, Hayward said he expects to see further pressure on earnings and cash flow from cost inflation and higher depreciation charges.

He reaffirmed the group’s 2007 capital spending guidance of 18 bln usd excluding acquisitions, and assured that major upstream projects including Atlantis and Greater Plutonio are on track to come on-stream by the end of 2007.

Hayward also finally dashed persistent merger speculation, claiming that talk about a possible deal with rival Royal Dutch Shell PLC is ‘absolutely of no substance’.

He added Byron Grote, the chief financial officer will also stay on until spring of 2009.

Hayward is planning to streamline the business and is initially aiming to redeploy 100 staff at the groups headquarters in London. [email protected] mbe/ks/gp

Copyright AFX News Limited 2007. All rights reserved.

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