BP Almost Won Safety Award

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On the one-year anniversary of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico, a tragedy that led to 11 deaths and the largest oil spill in U.S. history, BP, the rig's operator, narrowly missed out on winning a safety award from the lobby group Oil & Gas UK.

BP (BP), Europe's second-largest oil company, was praised by Oil & Gas UK for its ''enthusiasm and commitment'' to offshore safety, according to Reuters. Even before the spill, BP's safety record had been harshly criticized following a fatal blast in 2005 at the company's Texas City refinery and the 2006 pipeline leak in Alaska.

Malcolm Webb, chief executive of Oil & Gas UK, said: ''All our finalists demonstrated the ideas, enthusiasm and commitment required in putting safety first and set an example for all of us working in offshore oil and gas to follow,'' Reuters reported.

While other companies have exposure to the spill, BP has been the most vilified in the court of public opinion and the company's shoddy safety record is perhaps playing a part in the government's unwillingness to approve permits for new BP projects in the Gulf.

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