100 days later, BP starts fresh w/new CEO

NEW ORLEANS /*BP*/ is selling $30 billion in assets and setting aside $32.2 billion to cover the costs of the spill. The oil giant is also replacing /*CEO Tony Hayward*/ with Managing Director /*Robert Dudley*/. BP is also claiming a $9.88 billion tax credit in the second quarter based on the $32.2 billion charge.

When asked if they've discussed the tax credit with U.S. authorities, BP executives said they've followed the IRS regulations as they are currently written.

Hayward, who has been constantly criticized for several verbal gaffs including the comment "I'd like my life back," will leave BP Oct. 1 with benefits valued at more than $18 million. BP is recommending him for a non-executive board position at its Russian joint venture, TNK-BP.

Hayward said he has no major regrets about his leadership, but admitted, "BP cannot move on in the U.S. with me as its leader."

Dudley defended Hayward's leadership but promised changes in light of the environmental disaster.

"There's no question we are going to learn things from this investigation of the incident," he said.

The mile-deep blowout on April 20 killed 11 workers and spewed 94 million to 184 million gallons of oil. Also, the spill sapped $60 billion of BP's market value. The company struggled for months to stop the leak before temporarily capping it about two weeks ago. A permanent fix could be just a few weeks away.

Efforts to plug the well from above is to begin Monday and a relief well could begin sealing the well from the bottom for good with mud and cement days after that.

Dudley pledged that his company will remain committed to the Gulf region even after the busted well is sealed for good.

Latest Developments:

  • BP said it would become a leaner, higher-quality business through its planned sale of $30 billion in assets. The company has already made a start with the $7 billion sale of gas assets in the United States, Canada and Egypt to Apache Corp.
  • Analysts were disappointed that BP intended to sell so many assets. Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Fadel Gheit said BP should be a 10 percent smaller company after its planned sales but that BP should remain the top oil and gas producer in the U.S., unless it sells off a large portion of its Alaska assets.

    Analysts also said BP's estimate of spill costs was on the conservative side. Gheit predicts BP will eventually pay between $30 billion and $60 billion.

  • Crews were trying to cap a smaller and unrelated gusher Wednesday in a lake just north of Barataria Bay, which has already been fouled by oil from the massive BP spill.

    On Tuesday a barge slammed into an abandoned well in a coastal inlet, sending a shower of water, natural gas and oil spewing about 100 feet into the air. No one was hurt.

    Officials said the breach created a mile-long slick but that it was small compared with the gusher in the Gulf. Emergency officials said about 6,000 feet of containment boom was in place around the site.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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