BP can pay fines for the Gulf of Mexico spill but may not learn a lesson, writes Joe Nocera.
ENERGY giant BP held its annual meeting last Thursday and, all things considered, the company's shareholders had much to be happy about. Yes, a small percentage voted against the $US6.8 million ($A6.5 million) pay package that the board awarded Bob Dudley, the chief executive. And there were plenty of protesters in attendance, including angry Gulf Coast residents and climate change activists.
Mainly, though, BP shareholders had to be pleased with the progress the company has made since the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Two years after the spill that cost 11 lives and saw millions of litres of crude oil poured into the Gulf of Mexico, the company unveiled 2011 net profits of close to $US24 billion. And that's after spending $US22 billion settling claims and paying clean-up costs.
''We are fully back to work in the Gulf of Mexico,'' Mr Dudley announced.
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