Eventful meeting for BP bosses
Thursday 12 April 2012
BP's top bosses contended with screaming environmental protesters, a backlash on executive pay and more anger over the company's record in the Gulf of Mexico at an eventful annual meeting today.
A number of activists were carried from the ExCel centre in London after staging a bizarre demonstration against BP's attitude towards climate change.
BP's board was asked by an undercover protester if it had a "spaceship" to allow its members to escape environmental catastrophe before the man and several colleagues played dead on the floor and refused to move. No arrests were made.
Meanwhile, a shareholder said BP gave the impression the board had its "snout in the trough" by awarding chief executive Bob Dudley an annual bonus of 850,000 US dollars (£540,000).
The criticism was backed by a large number of investors as 11% of shareholder votes were against the company's remuneration report.
Before the meeting started, Derrick Evans, from Gulfport, in Mississippi, said BP's clean-up operation in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico disaster had been a "complete fiasco".
"The oil is not gone," he said outside the meeting. "The general perception is that BP made a mess and BP did a big clean-up and everything is all fine. Nothing could be further from the truth."
BP has so far paid around 7.5 billion US dollars (£4.7 billion) in clean-up costs and compensation, with more than 200,000 individuals and businesses claiming compensation from the 20 billion US dollar (£12.5 billion) fund set aside for victims of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Mr Dudley told shareholders that BP's guiding principle on the clean-up was "not to do the minimum as required by law, but to do the right thing".
He added: "We have continued to devote people and resources to the area and we are seeing recovery. The beaches are open and 2011 was a great year for tourism. Independent studies have shown that Gulf seafood is safe to eat."
And defending the company's pay packages, chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg said BP "works to understand the mood and the society in which we are based".
BP also faced a protest from environmentalists opposed to the development of Canada's tar sands by BP as a major oil source.
Clayton Thomas-Muller, who is the tar sands campaign director for the Indigenous Environmental Network in Canada, urged shareholders to call for a withdrawal from the area in Alberta, Canada.
After protesting outside in front of banners reading "BP out of the tar sands" and "BP your party's over", Mr Thomas-Muller addressed the board.
He asked what "contingency plans" the company had if it lost a legal challenge against its development.
Mr Dudley said he believed the development of "oil sands" was "good for Canada" and explained that BP used a less-invasive procedure requiring steam to harness the oil from the sands in Alberta.
BP reported annual replacement cost profits of 23.9 billion US dollars (£15.1 billion) in 2011, compared with a loss of 4.6 billion US dollars (£3.1 billion) the previous year.
BP saw its shares rise sharply last month after a £4.9 billion deal with 110,000 businesses and individuals over the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
The out-of-court settlement worth 7.9 billion US dollars (£5 billion) was less than expected - but it still faces a challenge from the US Department of Justice.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K - £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been we...