BP tightens safety designs

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The Independent Online

BP is improving safety designs at jetties in Houston, as the beleaguered energy group tries to avoid any more public relations disasters related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Atkins, the FTSE 250 engineering consultancy, is revamping jetties where oil barrels are offloaded to ensure they cannot slip into the water. BP is reviewing safety designs having finally capped its Deepwater Horizon well, which has been leaking oil since April.

A series of PR gaffes – such as its chief executive, Tony Hayward, saying he would "like my life back" weeks after 11 men died in the explosion that caused the spill – have hurt BP.

BP is to tighten up designs even on facilities that are unlikely to fail so as to avoid any fall-out that would follow from the smallest of accidents. BPs battered share price rose on news that the well had been capped. The company declined to comment.