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Spill no reason to halt deep sea drilling

MALMOE, Mar 7, – Last year\’s massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill sparked by an explosion on a BP-leased platform is no reason to stop deep sea drilling, the group\’s chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg said Monday.

"If we truly learn from this accident, I see no reason to close off the deep water as an area for future oil exploration and production," BP chairman Svanberg told a conference in the southern Swedish city of Malmoe on oil spill risk management.

"All energy extraction has its risks and it is our task and our contract with society to make sure that we can take these risks responsibly," he said, stressing that demand for energy was set to grow over the next decade.

Svanberg, a Swede, took over as chairman of the British oil giant on January 1, 2010.

On April 20, an explosion on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico platform exploded, killing 11 workers and causing some 4.9 million barrels of oil to gush into the Gulf over a three-month period, wreaking havoc on the region\’s environment and economy.

The spill, the largest ever manmade environmental disaster in the United States, "is an accident that should never have happened," Svanberg said.

"It was the result of a complex series of inter-linked events, decisions and missed opportunities by multiple parties," he said, adding "we fully accept our share of responsibility.

"We were certainly not perfect in our response but we have tried to do the right thing and we are making significant changes to our organisation as a result of this accident.

"We do know that we can learn from this, that we can move forward, do everything we can to prevent that it happens again," he insisted.

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