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BP Self-Imposes New Deepwater Rules for GOM Operations

BP plc on Friday promised to operate under more stringent self-imposed standards in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) deepwater to demonstrate its commitment to U.S. officials that it could operate safely in the aftermath of the Macondo well blowout last year.

The voluntary standards to be implemented by subsidiary BP Exploration & Production Inc. (BPXP) were detailed in a letter from BP Group CEO Bob Dudley to Michael Bromwich, who directs the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM).

"BP's commitment in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon incident is not only to restore the economic and environmental conditions among the affected areas of the Gulf Coast, but also to apply what we have learned to improve the way we operate," Dudley wrote. "We believe the commitments we have outlined...will promote greater levels of safety and preparedness in deepwater drilling."

The standards, he said, have been developed using "lessons learned" from the Macondo blowout and oil spill, which devastated the GOM region. BPXP agreed to implement four safety standards:

"BP is adopting these voluntary actions as part of its commitment to safe and reliable operations, and to help rebuild trust in the company following last year's accident and oil spill," said BP's James Dupree, GOM regional president. "BP is the largest leaseholder in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and we intend to be a significant business presence here for a long time to come..."

BP also has established a real time drilling operations center in Houston. In addition the company plans to continue increase its well control competencies and is collaborating with industry and government-related groups to build its knowledge of safe offshore practices.

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