Carl-Henric Svanberg, the chairman of BP, has struck out at critics of his company's response to the Gulf oil spill and told The Financial Times that BP is "big and important."
In an interview published Tuesday by FT, Svanberg painted the oil company's relationship with the U.S. as one that was mutually beneficial to both parties. "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," Svanberg said. "So the position goes both ways."
Svanberg dismissed calls for a government takeover of the effort to plug the well and said that "if we do the right thing," BP's reputation may not suffer long-term damage.
The chairman's "big and important" assertions about his company came shortly after BP CEO Tony Hayward was recorded acting big and important around photographers covering the spill.
While observing a beach covered in crude, Hayward took it upon himself to scold a photographer whom he thought was too close to the spill.
"Hey, get outta there. Get outta there," Hayward barked to the photographer. "Get him out. Get him out."
Hayward's orders came just before a BP press conference.