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BP's Tony Hayward at Yacht Race in England as Oil Spills in Gulf

5 years ago
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BP CEO Tony Hayward finally got part of his life back Saturday as he took a break from his oil spill duties in the Gulf of Mexico and on Capitol Hill to attend a yacht race around the Isle of Wight in the English Channel.

Robert Wine, a BP spokesman in Houston, told the Associated Press it was the first break Hayward has had since the April 20 explosion of a rig blew open a deep sea well and gushed tens of millions of gallons oil into Gulf waters. The oil surged onto the beaches and marshlands of four states. Hayward famously irritated Gulf residents weeks ago with his comment that he wished to resolve the crisis, because "I'd like my life back."

As word of the yacht race spread to the Internet, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel pounced on the latest in a "long line of PR gaffes" by BP. "He got his life back, as he would say," Emanuel told ABC News This Week . The annual J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race attracted more than 1,700 vessels -- including Hayward's 52-footer, "Bob" -- and 1,600 sailors, from famous yachtsmen to wealthy amateurs. And Hayward wasn't the only one to take some time off on Saturday. President Obama and Vice President Biden got in a round of golf, according to the White House pool.
Yachtsman at Isle of Wight Race
Hayward is "spending a few hours with his family at a weekend. I'm sure that everyone would understand that," Wine said. "He will be back to deal with the response. It doesn't detract from that at all." But Hayward's continuing role in the "response" to the disaster is not entirely clear. On Friday, following his rocky appearance on Capitol Hill, BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg suggested that Hayward was pulling back from the day-to-day operation. But BP spokeswoman Sheila Williams told the AP on Saturday that Hayward would remain "very much in charge until we've stopped the leak."

In the Gulf of Mexico, BP's containment device captured 25,290 barrels of the oil gushing from the near-mile deep well on Thursday, according to the New York Times. That's the most collected in a single day since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, killing 11 workers and spewing oil into Gulf waters. Experts believe 35,000 to 60,000 barrels of oil are pouring into the Gulf on a daily basis, fouling beaches, killing wildlife and destroying fisheries.

Although BP officials still say it will be August before two relief wells are completed -- the best solution to plugging the leak -- one of the wells is now within 200 feet of its destination below the sea floor, BP officials said, according to the Times.

So there was some good news from the Gulf. But there was also more bad news for BP.

The company's 25 percent partner in the well, Anadarko Petroleum, on Friday accused the oil giant of "reckless decisions and actions" prior to the rig explosion, the Washington Post reported. Anadarko chief executive Jim Hackett said in a statement that information coming out of the investigation of the accident indicates "BP operated unsafely and failed to monitor and react to several critical warning signs during the drilling of the Macondo well." Hackett's remarks have financial implications, the Post said, since his company, as a partner, would ordinarily be financially responsible for part of the cleanup and damage costs. BP's actions "likely represent gross negligence or willful misconduct and thus affect the obligations of the parties under the operating agreement," Hackett said. BP said it "strongly disagrees" with the Anadarko statement.

Back at the races in England, it was not clear whether Hayward actually participated or just watched the spectacle. He didn't show up "on any of the crew list," a press officer at the event said. A British news agency snapped a photo of a guy it believed was Hayward on the yacht that he owns with other investors, the AP said. But BP would not confirm that it was him.

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Nothing wrong with this man taking a break and exhaling. Rumor has it there is no pipeline connected to this well and they must drill in order to keep their lease...IS THERE SOMETHING POLITICALLY WRONG WITH THAT?

July 04 2010 at 8:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Obama golfing as oil spills in gulf, he also went to a baseball game, so what gives?

June 21 2010 at 12:11 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Since Obama said he was in charge of everthing Hayward must have been on his Yacht per Obama instructions.

June 21 2010 at 11:04 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

... the outrage has to do with appearances and decorum. For both Hayward and Obama it is rather like going to a party and whooping it up and having a great time while your wife is home dying of cancer... it just looks bad. It would take a VERY understanding wife not to harbor some serious resentment. They both would have done well to cut a lower profile.

June 20 2010 at 6:43 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

Anybody ever hear of a laptop or cell phone. CEOs don't get there hands dirty as a rule. They are paid to make desisions.

June 20 2010 at 5:33 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Looks like Joe Barton, Rand Paul, and Sarah Palin are apart of his crew.

June 20 2010 at 5:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to knute9's comment

For sure.. obama was at a ball game and played golf..he could not make it this little sigh-seeing trip..

June 20 2010 at 9:38 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Did he win?

June 20 2010 at 4:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No one can stay focused on any activity 24/7/365. Everyone needs to take a break from time to time...

June 20 2010 at 12:45 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sfamilyent's comment
dc walker

Hypocritical. Obama went to the White Sox/Nationals game Friday night; went to play golf with Biden on Sat and celebrated Father's Day activities on Sunday.

June 21 2010 at 4:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good for him!!

June 20 2010 at 12:37 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

In response to tara,

I agree with everything you've said, although, I'm not outraged at either of them. I think if the media didn't have to be trailing them at every second of the day and night, no one would have been outraged or angry or critical.

What angers me is the bullying of Hayward in front of the camera by the Democrats. Some of those adult men behaved badly and it came off looking like a bunch of drooling, blood thirsty animals waiting for the kill. It appeared as though the Democrats would and could only be satisfied if they brought Hayward to his knees in a fit of emotion. The English just don't express emotion in the same way American's do. They keep a stiff upper lip and wait for the appropriate time when all the evidence is in. The investigation isn't over, rumors and gossip are all over the place. I've tried getting information about what Hackett said was coming out of the investigation and I couldn't find any. How do we know that whay they received was accurate and totally true?

It's time for America to get on with the clean up and maybe, just maybe, find one our many brilliant engineers, or experts to come up with a quicker way of sealing off that well. Where are those people? Why, when the MMS was in control, did they not dot all the I's and cross all the T's. The truth is, is that everyone became lax about the rules and regulations, although, we just don't want to admit it.

June 20 2010 at 12:23 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

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