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Oil spill: BP chief likely to resign

world Updated: Jul 26, 2010 01:46 IST

The chief executive of British oil giant BP, Tony Hayward, was likely to resign within the next 24 hours in the aftermath of the catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the BBC reported.

Citing a senior BP source, the BBC said that an announcement was due shortly on Hayward, whose future has been
in doubt for several weeks over his handling of the worst environmental disaster in US history.

There is a "strong likelihood" that he would be replaced by Bob Dudley, who took over management of BP's
response to the spill from Hayward last month, the public broadcaster added.

Earlier, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported that Hayward was poised to resign before London-based BP announces its half-year results on Tuesday. The BP board is expected to meet on Monday ahead of the announcement.

Last Monday BP put the cost of its response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill at USD 3.95 billion.

Reports have suggested for days that Hayward would resign at some point in the coming weeks as BP battles to
recover its reputation.

The Sunday Telegraph said that there could be wrangling over Hayward's severance package, under which he is
likely to be paid a minimum figure of just over one million pounds (1.5 million dollars, 1.2 million euros).

Asked about the BBC report, a BP spokesman told AFP he would not comment on speculation. He added: "Tony Hayward
is our chief executive. He has the full support of the board and management."

In the Gulf itself, engineers moved ahead Sunday with preparations for a well "kill" operation that officials
hope will permanently plug the oil leak that erupted April 20 when an offshore oil rig exploded, killing 11 workers.

A drill rig vessel charged with sinking a relief well that should finally stop the deep-sea oil leak arrived
back at the site of the spill on Saturday after briefly moving away due to a tropical storm.