Gulf oil spill: ‘I trust’ BP chief Tony Hayward, Coast Guard commandant says

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U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen said Sunday that he trusts BP and its expertise in responding to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Speaking on CNN’s ‘State of the Union,’ Allen told host Candy Crowley:

‘I don’t think it’s an issue of control. What makes this an unprecedented anomalous event is access to the discharge site is controlled by the technology that was used for the drilling, which is owned by the private sector. They have the eyes and ears that are down there. ... Our responsibility is to conduct proper oversight to make sure they do that.

Asked if he trusted BP, Allen said:


‘When I give them direction or the federal on-scene coordinator gives them direction, we get a response. I’ve got [BP Chief Executive] Tony Hayward’s personal cellphone number. If I have a problem, I call him. Some of the problems we have had that we’ve worked through are more logistics and coordination issues. ... I trust Tony Hayward. When I talk to him, I get an answer.

Meanwhile, Bob Dudley, managing director for BP, told Crowley that he was confident BP’s attempts to plug up its blown-out well will succeed before a relief well is completed in August.

‘There’s a series of options here. I believe that activity will begin either late Tuesday or at dawn on Wednesday, because we need daylight. There is no certainty at these kind of depths. But we all want it to work. And we’ve all got steps that we’ll put in place immediately if it doesn’t. We will keep trying to shut off this well. We’re not going to wait until August.’

-- Geoff Mohan

Photo: BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward. Credit: Lindsey Parnaby / European Pressphoto Agency