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BP Chief Tony Hayward faces grilling before US Congress

Reuters

BP Chief executive Tony Hayward faced a grilling Thursday by US lawmakers in Congress over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which has been deemed the worst environmental disaster in US history.

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Hayward said the energy giant would repair the economic and environmental devastation caused by the spill, but reiterated that it was too soon to pin down the causes of the explosion of the rig.

"I know that only actions and results, not mere words ultimately can give you the confidence you seek. I give my pledge as the leader of BP that we will not rest until we make this right," said the BP Chief answering questioning from the US Congress committee.

But the panel was harsh in its criticism of Hayward: "I'm sure you will get your life back, and with a golden parachute back in England", said Democratic Representative Bart Stupak who was chairing the meeting. "But we in America are left with the terrible consequences of BP's reckless disregard for safety".

Stupak was referring to a much-criticized statement in which Hayward, who has been the public face of the disaster, said he wanted it to end so he could get on with his life.

Hayward said progress was being made and that  BP now siphoning up an average of 20,000 barrels a day of oil to two processing ships on the surface.

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