May 24, 2019

Angry protests at BP annual meeting

BP spent years and millions of dollars promoting themselves as a 'green' oil company. It turned out they were just 'greedy'.

BP faced an assortment of angry demonstrators at its first annual general meeting since the Deepwater Horizon, Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

UK trade unionists and environmetalists were joined by fishermen from the United States to express anger at BP’s handling of the Gulf oil spill.

There were scuffles outside the ExCel Centre in East London when some activists were refused entry, and proceedings inside were momentarily halted to evict a group of people.

The BP board faced a barrage of hostile questions about its bid to do a deal with Russia’s Rosneft, but the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and resulting spill, ended up dominating proceedings.

During his speech, BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg acknowledged the impact that the disaster had wrought on Gulf communities and also the energy giant itself.

Life had “not been easy” for BP during the past 12 months and the company had to “work hard to earn back trust”, he said.

As a mark of respect Mr Svanberg read out the names of the 11 oil rig workers who died in the explosion, and repeated his promise that BP would pay to clean up the Gulf coast.

Before the meeting, scuffles broke out when representatives of Gulf communities were refused entry, with BP saying they were “judged to be a threat to other shareholders”.

“I’ve come all the way here from the Gulf Coast,” said Diane Wilson, a fourth-generation fish company owner from Seadrift, Texas. “My community is gone, and they won’t let me in.”