Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 9, 2011 11:30 AM
The news that the producers behind the blockbuster Twilight movie franchise are developing a movie about the Deepwater Horizon disaster — Michael Sheen gets our vote for former CEO Tony Howard — indicates that BP won't shake the oil spill from its image for quite some time — if ever.
While it's too early to say if BP will be getting The Social Network-like treatment by Hollywood, the embattled oil giant's new CEO says there's one movie its annus horribilis (2010) doesn't resemble — The Black Swan.
Robert Dudley, who replaced Howard as BP's CEO, has been on the speaking circuit, is trying to restore the battered brand as he makes new deals and alliances to shore up its fortunes.
As consumers and businesses alike reel at the recent spike in gas prices, particularly in the U.S. and Canada, oil industry executives are off on a junket at the very same time, attending CERAweek in Houston — where Dudley made his Black Swan reference.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on January 20, 2011 11:30 PM
There may be a shortage of employment, but one lucky job seeker has the chance to assume a prestigious position in public relations for…. BP. That's right, BP is hiring a Director, Media and Communications in Florida.
Essential qualifications: "Can align to disciplined messaging." No kidding.
So if you don't mind being despised by everyone you meet (but hey, healthcare!), the full job description is after the jump. Plus, a bit of advice before applying.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 2, 2010 12:00 PM
"BP Returns to Profit" reads the headline on the company's third quarter earnings press release today.
Excluding one-time charges, the London-based oil giant's quarterly profit was $5.5 billion, beating analysts' estimates. Its overall profit fell 66% — after taking a further charge of $7.7 billion related to the biggest oil spill in U.S. history — and its third-quarter net income dropped to $1.8 billion from $5.3 billion in the year-earlier period.
The company booked a $39.9 billion charge in the quarter for costs related to the Gulf of Mexico spill, comprising a "pre-tax charge of $7.7 billion for the Gulf of Mexico spill followed a charge of $32.2 billion in the second quarter... due principally to higher spill response costs," BP's press release stated.
New CEO Robert Dudley said on a call with analysts that BP is “well on track” for recovery, with sales agreements in place for about $14 billion of assets, about half of the amount needed to foot the bill for the Gulf of Mexico accident.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on August 12, 2010 05:30 PM
BP today agreed to pay a record fine for failing to fix safety hazards at its oil refinery in Texas City, TX.
The $50.6 million fine imposed by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the largest in its history, stems from the 2005 explosion at that plant which killed 15 workers and injured 170 others. The Texas disaster was "the worst industrial accident in the US for a generation," according to the Guardian.
As OSHA notes in its press release, "in addition to paying the record fine, BP has agreed to take immediate steps to protect those now working at the refinery, allocating a minimum of $500 million to that effort."
The New York Times reports that BP had disputed a 2009 follow-up investigation that found it hadn't made the fixes requested by the federal watchdog. But under today's agreement, BP "accepted the government’s penalties for failing to fix problems as promised in the previous settlement."
Meanwhile, U.S. officials today tested the seal at BP's damaged well in the Gulf, where retired U.S. general Thad Allen, leading the U.S. investigation, stated that a relief well may not be needed.
Also, pending class action lawsuits related to the Gulf spill will be consolidated in New Orleans, while environmental activists are attacking potential White House plans to use money from BP’s future Gulf of Mexico production as collateral for the $20 billion oil spill claims fund.
Posted by Dale Buss on August 2, 2010 12:00 PM
Thrown on the brand-name scrap heap more than a decade ago, "Amoco" is looking pretty good these days to BP-gas station operators – and perhaps to the parent company itself.
Apparently there are a growing number of BP station owners across the United States who like the idea of bringing back the Amoco moniker, which BP has owned since acquiring the American Oil Co. and all its Amoco assets in 1998.
The switch to a more American brand could be one way for BP’s hard-hit retailers to quell the boycotts that some consumers and activists have launched against the BP brand in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico spill. Most of the 11,000 stations selling BP fuel across the US are independently owned, and they have seen reductions in sales of up to 40 percent in the wake of the disaster. BP has responded by offering distributors cash, reductions in credit-card fees and help with more national advertising. But for some, a total rebrand is looking like a good way to sidestep the slime that’s likely to stick to the BP brand.
The BP name, and its green-and-yellow flower logo, replaced the Amoco name and its blue-and-red torch marque after BP acquired Amoco. But now all things American may be regaining some sway within the British-owned company. American – and Amoco veteran – Robert Dudley will replace the disgraced current CEO of BP, Tony Hayward, on October 1. Dudley can boast of a boyhood in Mississippi and has to date demonstrated a more careful, less tone-deaf approach than Hayward.
And if BP indeed does take the Amoco name and brand out of mothballs, here’s a suggestion for maximizing the value of the move: Don’t spare the red, white and blue in your logo, and make prominent mention of the “American Oil Co.”
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 27, 2010 04:30 PM
Interesting to contrast statements today by departing BP CEO Tony Hayward and his American lieutentant and now replacement, Bob Dudley:
Hayward, quoted by The Guardian: "I believe this tragedy will leave BP a different company. I believe for it to move on in the United States it needs new leadership and it is for that reason I have stood down as the CEO.
I think BP's response to this tragedy has been a model of good social corporate responsibility. It has mounted an unprecedented response."
Dudley, meanwhile, was more forward-looking about the brand in an interview today with CNBC's Maria Bartiromo.
He told her: "We want to be a good corporate citizen, we want to restore our reputation, it’s going to take time. We are going to learn from this accident, we are going to change many things in BP ... we must change."Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 26, 2010 10:00 PM
As expected, BP CEO Tony Hayward is stepping down. BP's board met tonight and approved a plan for American Bob Dudley to succeed Hayward, a source told the Wall Street Journal. The BBC reported that Hayward "will get an immediate annual pension worth about £600,000 ($930,000) when he leaves in October."
Hayward isn't severing ties with the oil giant, as sources indicated he will take on a non-executive director of TNK-BP Ltd., BP's Russian joint venture, which he was instrumental in creating. BP's Russian partners also backed Dudley's promotion to the CEO role, according to the Telegraph in the U.K.
Hayward's P.R. gaffes and low-key demeanor since the Gulf disaster, the company's plunging value and damning testimony about its actions leading to the Deepwater Horizon disaster kept the mild-mannered former geologist in the hot seat, despite the company capping the leaking well two weeks ago.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 21, 2010 01:00 PM
Here we go again — BP has denied a Times of London report that CEO Tony Hayward plans to step down "within the next 10 weeks." Hayward, meanwhile, plans to outline BP's outlook on Tuesday. Innerscope Research concludes that men are more sympathetic to Hayward (based on his 60-second commercial featuring BP's first public response), using biometric responses (see the video above) to gauge gender differences.
• The oil giant, granted another 24-hour extension on its well cap, is hoping to implement a "static kill" procedure using mud. Seepage? Could be from another well.
• Is public backlash leading marketers to shun job opportunities with BP?
• BP execs feel the heat from the Obama administration.
• Pension funds hope to lead a class-action lawsuit against BP.
• Get ready for a slew of books on the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
• U.S. Dept. of Energy's new blog will update Gulf-related issues, among other topics.
• Reuters shadows Thad Allen, President Obama's watchdog in the Gulf.