Gulf oil spill hits 100 days as BP struggles for fresh start

08:23, July 29, 2010      

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Support vessels sit at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast July 23, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill reached the 100-day mark Wednesday as BP, the oil giant behind the disaster, made drastic moves, including replacing its gaffe-prone chief executive and selling assets, to repair its damaged image and rejuvenate its business.

However, a crush of challenges remain as the battered BP struggles to cover the costs related to the environmental catastrophe, repair its reputation, streamline its structure and deal with the various probes and legal actions.

The London-based company is replacing CEO Tony Hayward with Managing Director Robert Dudley, selling 30 billion in assets and setting aside 32.2 billion U.S. dollars to cover the long-term cost of the spill which has spewed more than 5 million barrels of oil into the sea and sapped about 40 percent, or 60 billion dollars of BP's market value.

Hayward was heavily criticized after he described the spill's impact as "modest," grumbled about wanting to have his life back, and attended a yacht race off the coast of England while American residents were busy grappling with gooey blobs along the Gulf shores.

BP said its whip will be handed over on Oct. 1 to Dudley, the first American to lead the company. Placing safety among his highest priorities, Dudley has vowed to learn from the oil spill disaster and to "change the culture" of how the company handles safety-related issues.
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