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article imageExxon CEO says oil industry ‘not well equipped’ to handle spills

By Lynn Herrmann     Jun 19, 2010 in Politics
Speaking before a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Environment on Tuesday, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson testified the oil industry is not prepared to handle oil disasters when they occur.
Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson this week repeatedly reminded politicians during an Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing that the oil industry cannot prevent oil spills nor the damages associated with them.
In an exchange with Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Michigan), Tillerman reiterated several times the oil industry cannot effectively handle oil spills once they occur. He, along with Chevron Chairman & CEO John Watson stated their emphasis is on prevention of spills, rather than dealing with spills.
“When these things happen, we are not well equipped to deal with them,” Tillerson testified during the hearing.
He then repeated: “We are not well equipped to handle them. There will be impacts, as we are seeing. And we’ve never represented anything different than that.”
That’s just a fact of the enormity of what we’re dealing with,” he added.
During the heated exchange, Tillerman reminded Stupak that Exxon would deal with an oil spill similar to BP’s Deepwater Horizon debacle “to the maximum extent practical.”
In response to pre-hearing questions, Exxon, BP, Chevron, Shell and Conoco Phillips all submitted paperwork showing oil spill amounts each company could handle. Those numbers were provided in a chart during the hearing.
The chart showed the major oil companies’ projected capacities at handling a “worst case discharge scenario for exploratory well”. BP (250,000 barrels per day), Chevron (236,78), Conoco Phillips (40,000), Exxon Mobile (166,000), and Shell (205,000) all maintained - with the possible exception of Conoco Phillips - they could handle a disaster far exceeding the one currently compounding upon itself in the Gulf of Mexico.
When questioned over his plan on dealing with a worst-case scenario of 166,000 barrels per day, the Exxon boss said: “As I said, Congressman, we would use the response capabilities to the maximum extent practical.”
When Stupak asked Tillerman if Exxon was willing to stand behind his company’s response to the pre-hearing questions, a response that said Exxon is “prepared to meet all the commitments in its permits including those involving a worst-case scenario”, Tillerman replied: “I do, because the permit does not guarantee that the oil will not get to the shore. Nor does it guarantee that it will all be contained.”
Exxon is the world’s largest traded oil company.
More about Exxon ceo, Oil spill, Worst case scenario
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