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'I'm sorry for what happened'

bob_dudley.gi.top.jpgBP CEO says sorry, questions industry's response to Middle East events at the biggest industry gathering since the Gulf disaster. By Steve Hargreaves, senior writer

HOUSTON (CNNMoney) -- BP CEO Bob Dudley, addressing the largest oil industry gathering since the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico last spring, apologized for the blowout and questioned the industry's ongoing response to drilling safety and the unrest in the Middle East.

Noting that the Middle East and North Africa produce nearly 30 million barrels of oil a day, a third of the world's supply, Dudley suggested a more collaborative approach to the crisis.

"My question is whether we should be reacting in a more coordinated way as an industry," said Dudley, speaking before thousands of industry professionals at IHS CERA's annual energy conference.

But Dudley kicked off his speech with an apology.

"Since that accident, this is the first chance I have had to address such a large gathering of industry colleagues and the first thing I want to say is that I am sorry for what happened."

Dudley, who replaced Tony Hayward as head of the oil giant late last year went on to detail the steps BP has taken since the disaster to deal with safety issues at the company.

They include tying employees' performance and review evaluations to how effectively they understand and implement safety standards and procedures, enhancing the company's own internal requirements for well safety devices and equipment, and ensuring the proper containment equipment is in place before drilling a well.

"I hope that my messages today have been clear," he said. "BP is sorry. BP gets it. BP is changing." To top of page

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