|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
BP's chairman hit back at critics of the company's response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, insisting that they ought to remember that the group was "big and important" for the US.
As BP prepared its latest attempt to halt the flow, Carl-Henric Svanberg told the Financial Times in his first newspaper interview since the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig that the UK energy company still had a future in the US.
"The US is a big and important market for BP, and BP is also a big and important company for the US, with its contribution to drilling and oil and gas production. So the position goes both ways," he said.
Mr Svanberg accepted BP's reputation had been damaged by the accident but said that should not be long-lasting "if we do the right thing".
"This is not the first time something has gone wrong in this industry, but the industry has moved on. Of course our reputation will be tarnished, but let's wait and see how we do with plugging the well and cleaning up the spill."
BP has been running an advertising campaign in US newspapers explaining the efforts it has been making to control the spill, and it plans to step up that campaign once the leak has been stopped.
Mr Svanberg, who took over as chairman in January, said the company's board felt Tony Hayward, the chief executive, was doing a "great job", in spite of widespread criticism in the US.