Dudley seems to have the right stuff

by

Published: August 1,2010

Tags: Bob Dudley, MBJ Editorial, new CEO of British Petroleum

To listen to Bob Dudley, it would seem he understands the magnitude of destruction that has been thrust upon the Gulf Coast because of the failings of his company.

It’s also amazing that the Hattiesburg native will become the CEO of British Petroleum on Oct. 1, hopefully having a positive impact on so many that have been hurt by the disaster, whether in or out of oil industry.

He will be the first American to lead the oil giant in its century-long history, and on a phone call with reporters last week, Dudley said he understands the complexity of rebuilding BP’s image and financial strength. He said BP will emerge as a slimmer but stronger company.

Dudley said the investigation will show “individual misjudgments” by experienced people and “multiple failures” of equipment involving several companies led to the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.

Dudley’s standing within BP and along the Gulf Coast has risen since he took over BP’s response to the oil spill in June from current CEO Tony Hayward.

It was Dudley that calmly delivered BP’s message — don’t worry, we’re going to pay for all this. And somehow, after all the lying from Hayward, Dudley was believable.

And finally, it was on Dudley’s watch when BP finally capped the spewing well, shutting off the flow of oil until a relief well can finish the job.

BP is the largest producer of oil and gas in the United States, home to 40 percent of the company’s assets and one-third of its worldwide oil and gas reserves. It has huge interests in Alaska and the Gulf, with vast tracts yet to be developed.

Considering all of that, we all need for Dudley to be the right guy — for the Gulf Coast and its future and for the American economy.

At this point, he seems to have the right stuff.

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