BP's Hayward To Testify In UK

LONDON (AP) -- Outgoing BP CEO Tony Hayward will come under scrutiny from British lawmakers Wednesday over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, months after he offered few explanations for the accident at a testy hearing in Washington.

Hayward is scheduled to give evidence to a British parliamentary committee studying the fallout of the spill and the future of deep water drilling.

The British executive, who will be replaced by chief executive Bob Dudley, an American, on Oct. 1, will appear alongside BP's head of safety Mark Bly, author of the company's internal report into the spill.

Hayward endured an onslaught of criticism in June at a U.S. Congress appearance in Washington after he insisted he had little knowledge of decisions that contributed to the explosion at the Macondo well on April 20, which killed 11 workers and triggered the massive oil spill

"You're kicking the can down the road and acting as if you had nothing to do with this company and nothing to do with the decisions," committee chairman Rep. Henry Waxman, told Hayward at the session.

Hayward repeatedly told the House Energy and Commerce Committee he could not provide detailed explanations. "I'm not stonewalling. I simply was not involved in the decision-making process," he said.

In July, Hayward confirmed he would stand down as BP's CEO to be replaced by Dudley.

British legislators will question Hayward on the spill, but Tim Yeo -- a Conservative Party lawmaker and committee chairman -- said his panel would not adopt the confrontational tone seen in Washington.

"We would like him to be forthcoming, but we recognize there are some constraints -- some legal constraints -- that he faces," said Yeo, a former environment minister.

His panel is considering whether additional regulation is needed in Britain, and whether the U.K. government was right not to follow President Barack Obama's lead in imposing a moratorium on new deep water drilling.

Both Transocean and BP PLC, which operated the Deepwater Horizon platform mining the Macondo well, have operations in the North Sea off the coast of the U.K., where there are a total of 24 drilling rigs and 280 oil and gas installations.

The U.K. government has increased the number of rig inspectors there following the Gulf disaster, from six to nine, as part of a promise to double the 69 inspections they carried out last year. However, environmental campaigners have seized on a government agency report last month which revealed a spike in accidental leaks and serious injuries to workers on offshore platforms as evidence that a moratorium is needed.

The British committee has previously taken evidence from Transocean. It will issue a series of recommendations on safety, likely before the end of the year, but has no powers to compel the government to accept its findings.

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