New Orleans, La. – Sir Nigel Sheinwald is meeting today (Tuesday) with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and later in the week with Florida Governor Rick Scott. He says Louisiana's two Senators, Gulf Coast claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg and others have given him updates and he's confident that BP is making headway.
"Of course there are still problems and there are still worries out there. Of course there are. You couldn't expect it to be otherwise only nine months after the original incident. But my impression is that real progress has been made. Progress on the beaches. Progress on the marshes. Progress in the $4 billion dollars which have already been paid out in claims."
Sheinwald says the British government needs to make sure BP continues that progress, while also remaining solvent so it can pay damages in the billions of dollars.
"BP is headquartered in the UK, but it's a global company. It has almost as many American shareholders as British shareholders. It employs more people in this country than it does in the UK. So talking about it in simplistic terms as something alien is not fair because it's got its roots in this country as well. It's still the largest oil and gas operator in the United States."
Sheinwald says Britain has strong financial ties with Louisiana. He's also in the region to lobby support for open trade policies and British companies, such as Blade Dynamics. It's expected to provide 600 jobs in wind turbine production over the next decade at the NASA facility in New Orleans.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming.