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BP chief ‘on the way out’

marciadottin, [email protected]

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LONDON – BP chief executive Tony Hayward is negotiating the terms of his departure ahead of the oil company’s results announcement, British media said yesterday. BP said Hayward retained the confidence of the board and management.Citing unidentified sources, the BBC and Sunday Telegraph said detailed talks regarding Hayward’s future had taken place over the weekend. The BBC said a formal announcement on Hayward’s exit is expected in the next 24 hours; the Telegraph said it would be made in the next 48 hours.The Sunday Times reported directors were “considering a plan under which (Hayward) would leave as soon as the ruptured well is sealed”. Hayward, 53, has come under heavy criticism for his leadership following the April 20 fire and explosion on the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico. He has repeatedly apologised and expressed sorrow for the oil leak, but in May, he shocked some United States residents when he said “I’d like my life back”, and weeks later went yachting.BP is due to release its second quarter results tomorrow, and the board of directors is scheduled to meet before the earnings announcement.Meantime, the work to plug BP’s leaky oil well was getting back on track yesterday as the skies cleared and crews raced to plug the gusher before another big storm halts the operation again.A drill rig was reconnecting to the relief tunnel that will pump in mud and cement to seal the well for good, and drilling could resume in the next few days, BP spokesman Steve Rinehart said yesterday morning.Crews had to pull nearly a mile of segmented steel pipe out of the water on Thursday and Friday after the government’s point man on the spill ordered an evacuation ahead of Tropical Storm Bonnie.Bonnie fizzled on Louisiana’s coast and the ships returned. (AP)