BP Chairman Vows Improvement, Backs Safety Committee

BP's chairman, Peter Sutherland, promised in his Feb. 27 letter to shareholders in the company's 2006 annual report that safety improvements are being accomplished and fully embraced in the wake of the March 2005 explosion at the Texas City, Texas, refinery that damaged the energy company's reputation and brought a record OSHA fine.

Sutherland cited the independent review panel's conclusion that BP had not adequately attended to process safety before the blast, although individual safety was emphasized. He also said the board's safety, ethics and environment assurance committee "has played a particularly important role during the year.... I remain confident in the work of all the committees and our overall system of governance," Sutherland wrote.

"I believe that the board has the right mix of skills and experience to address the issues that we face," Sutherland summed up. "There remain significant challenges for the group in securing its business into the medium and the longer term. The board will be focusing on these in the coming year. On behalf of the board, I would like to thank you for your support."

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