Return to Transcripts main page
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Interview With Robert Dudley
Aired July 28, 2010 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT DUDLEY, CEO-DESIGNATE, BP: We're going to learn a lot from this accident. We're going to pull it apart to make sure that safety systems are in place so that this can never, ever happen again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ADRIAN FINIGHAN, CNN INT'L. ANCHOR, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: The next head of BP talks to CNN about how he'll take the company forward.
Looking for a special relationship, Britain aims to renew business ties with India.
And two years to go to London 2012, we hear from the president of the International Olympic Committee.
Hello, I'm Adrian Finighan, in for Richard Quest. This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
One Hundred days since the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history began. BP's incoming CEO tells this program he's confident the leak is fixed. CNN's Max Foster sat down with Robert Dudley and began by asking him how he plans to repair BP's image.
DUDLEY: I think the image is, it has to be based on action, real action and response. And so what we're doing, which I think is an unprecedented corporate response in the U.S., we've got 45,000 people working with the Coast Guard along the beaches of the Gulf Coast. We've had 1,000 in engineering working 24 hours a day to shut off the leak. I think we are there. We got a cap on it. A lot has been-
MAX FOSTER, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT: Do you think it is permanently fixed?
DUDLEY: I think it is. We put the cap on. Came back after a recent tropical storm, called Bonnie. We came back. The integrity looks good. And we are very close to running something called a static kill, which is pumping the mud and cement in there, maybe Monday; followed by the relief well. I don't think we'll see more oil flowing into the Gulf again.
But the image, you mentioned, we've got years to clean up. We've got to restore people's livelihoods in the Gulf of Mexico. We will be doing the science, the baseline effects on the Gulf. And we are going to stay with that for as long as it takes.
FOSTER: Because you are going to want to go back into that region and work again, aren't you? I presume. So how do you convince the local people that your safe to operate in that area?
DUDLEY: Well, I think it is a valid point that they have. They are upset, their life has been disrupted. We have set up 35 claims offices across the Gulf. We are obviously not processing them as fast as some people would like. We're going to transition that to Ken Feinberg, who is a professional with that, by the end of August. I think if we-there is a feeling that when we cap this well, we are going to suddenly pack up and go. And that is not the case. And that is one of the things in my new role is to make sure that we maintain that commitment for a very long time.
FOSTER: There is still oil there, though, isn't there? And you have the rights to it. Do you go back and try and get the oil out again?
DUDLEY: We're not actually focused on that now. I mean, I think BP, as well the industry, we're going to learn a lot from this accident. We're going to pull it apart to make sure that safety systems are in place so that this can never, ever happen again, not only in the Gulf, but globally.
FOSTER: And you are an inside man. You are a BP man. I think you also have a lot of respect for Tony Hayward as well. Is there going to be really any change in leadership? Isn't it more of the same? Aren't you second Tony Hayward?
DUDLEY: After an incident like that, we can't sit back and say, oh, well, we were unlucky. I mean, we've had accidents in the U.S. before. We've made progress on our safety thinking and getting it into the culture. But, Max, there is no question, there are going to be some big changes at BP. We're going to look at our safety, our culture. We are going to make sure that we put in place the safeguards, the checks, that this doesn't happen again.
FOSTER: The suggestion is there, that there was a laxity in safety before, under Tony Hayward?
DUDLEY: Tony? I do have great admiration for Tony. He came in three years ago, in response to accidents, that was mainly the legacy of the middle part of the last decade. Great emphasis on safety, operating systems.
FOSTER: But not safe enough?
DUDLEY: Well, we've had-
FOSTER: -safety now?
DUDLEY: Obviously, we have to accelerate greatly, any change that needs to happen in the company. One of the things I will do over the next- between now and the end of the year-is probably turn that upside down.
FOSTER: You have put aside something like $32 billion, a huge amount to deal with this huge problem you have had on the Gulf Coast. It is a guess, though, isn't it? That is a complete guesstimate about what this is going to cost? Number one, it is based on the fact that you won't be found "grossly negligent".
I just want to put a point to you. Yesterday I spoke to a congressman, Peter Welch, someone you will know, a U.S. House Democrat. I asked him, is BP grossly negligent? And he said I would understand that term as a layman, really, I would say yes.
DUDLEY: The testimony that just came out of the Marine Board last week, in New Orleans, it begins, I think, it begins to lay out the complexity of this accident. It is going to be a series of errors of judgment of individuals, highly experienced individuals, from many companies, and then a systematic set of failures of equipment, equipment that BP has relied on, some of it by our contractors. And I think this is going to find a very complicated, very low probability, but very high impact accident. Now the industry needs to look at everywhere around the globe. And I think that gross negligence is not what I think it is.
FOSTER: Congressman Peter Welch says the gross negligence here, was really that every time there was an opportunity for BP to make a choice for safety, or to save money, they choose to save money.
DUDLEY: I don't believe that to be the fact. I've seen statements that we cut corners, that we somehow drilled a well that is unusual. I don't think that is what the facts, that I have, show. And I don't think the facts, as we really get through this investigation show. There is still a lot yet to come out in the investigation.
FOSTER: And back to the $32 billion figure. It is also a guesstimate really. Because you don't know how much is leaked and you don't know what the penalties will be. It could be a lot more than $32 billion?
DUDLEY: Well, when we made that estimate and included that in our figures, we were not sure the well was capped. So, I think now we have-I believe, it is not completely done yet, we're not quite across the goal line yet.
FOSTER: But it is a better guess?
DUDLEY: But I believe it is a better guess. And I think that it is a finite, now, amount of oil, I believe, that has been in the Gulf. And that begins to cut the range down and how high the liabilities will be.
FINIGHAN: BP's incoming CEO; and it doesn't end there. We will have the second part of Max's interview with Robert Dudley a little bit later in the show. Find out where he stands on the allegations that BP lobbied for the release of the Lockerbie bomber. That is in about 25 minutes' time, right here on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
Well, Bob Dudley's career at BP hasn't always been easy. From 2003 to 2008, he was the head of TNK/BP. The company's Russian joint venture. That is where outgoing CEO Tony Hayward is likely to serve as a non- executive director.
Dudley was eventually forced to flee Russia after a row between BP and its Russian partners. Earlier I asked CNN Senior International Correspondent Matthew Chance what Moscow thought of Dudley getting the top job at BP.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SR. INT'L. CORRESPONDENT: To both of those events it has been surprisingly positive. The shareholders of TNK/BP, which is BP's big joint venture, here in Russia, have welcome the appointment of Bob Dudley, saying that he is professional, and they look forward to working with him. But also they have been hinting at the professional, the personal fallings out that he suffered here. When he was the chairman of TNK/BP, that joint venture, with the Russian shareholders, they think it is not going to affect the way they work.
But it is quite surprising, actually, because Bob Dudley was really the villain of the piece, in Russia, two years ago, when he was chairman of TNK/BP. He was at the heart of this very bitter, vitriolic commercial dispute between those four Russian billionaires, that owned 50 percent of TNK/BP, and of course, the big oil major.
They accused BP of treating TNK like a subsidiary, refusing to allow it to expand overseas and to compete in markets where BP as a company were competing as well. And there was this terrible power struggle for control of it; 1,400 workers at TNK/BP, who were basically seconded from BP, had their work visas withdrawn, including Robert Dudley. He was eventually forced to flee the country and run it from a secret location outside. Eventually, of course, the dispute came to an end. The BP management stepped in. In fact, Tony Hayward stepped in and managed to smooth over relations with the Russian shareholders and the Russian government.
And so, yes, he has a really dark history here in Russia. And so I expect there is a lot of concern here that his appointment as the CEO of BP may inflame those tensions once again, Adrian.
FINIGHAN: And as far as Tony Hayward is concerned then, Bob Dudley, at least publicly, the spat with him is water under the bridge. But Tony Hayward is quite well respected there in Russia for the way he handled that crisis.
CHANCE: Yes, he is. And part of the speculation-it is only that, of course-is that one of the reasons why Tony Hayward has been given a seat on the board of TNK/BP is that if there are concerns in Russia that Bob Dudley is now the head of BP, then maybe Tony Hayward, who is smoothed over relations with Russia and BP in the past can do the same in this instance. So, this maybe one of the reasons why Tony Hayward, this former, outgoing CEO of BP, disgraced in the Gulf, of course, he is been given this role in Russia. That maybe a good option for this oil major.
FINIGHAN: Matthew Chance, in Moscow.
Well, since the spill, business owners across the Gulf Coast region have seen tourists disappear. The man in charge of compensating them for their losses is the U.S. oil spill czar, Kenneth Feinberg. He is meeting with local businesses to explain how he plans to use the $20 billion that BP has promised to provide. CNN's Rob Marciano is in Fort Pickens, Florida. He joins us now live.
Rob, 100 days on, how do things stand between residents of the Gulf Coast and BP? Is BP still the villain of the piece?
ROB MARCIANO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, yes, it is tough to find people who are excited about BP with the exception of those who were put to work either cleaning up the beach or with vessels of opportunity. But as we know now we are starting to see the clean up efforts scale back because we have less oil out there in the Gulf of Mexico. We do have a little bit less oil coming up on the beaches so, those residents who have been hired will now be making less money off BP and in reality may very well set in.
And it has been a long 100 days. We've done everything from try to smother this thing, to cap it with various capping devices, and we finally got one that works and in just the last couple of weeks we've had that cap hold strong. And finally, for almost 2 weeks, we haven't had those 50,000 barrels of oil get into the Gulf. And they've been able to get a handle, a little bit, a least for now, on the clean up effort, both out there and on the beaches.
But still even here in Fort Pickens, I just walked down the beach and this is what I saw roll in. So, a bottle, a suntan bottle completely caked in tar. So, you still see that. You dig a little bit in the sand, you see a little bit as well. And then there are areas of this beach that look completely clean. So, I guess it depends on where you are, Adrian. Who you talk to, but overall, there is no hiding reality from the residents that live here. They know what's happened and they know it is be a long, long haul going forward.
FINIGHAN: Yes, Rob, less visible oil, less visible damage to the coastline. But I was watching a report of yours, the other day, right after Bonnie had passed through. And everyone was saying, well, where has the oil gone? There was less oil on the surface of the sea. That doesn't necessarily mean to say that it has gone away?
MARCIANO: Absolutely not. And, you know, Bonnie may very well have helped to disperse it naturally. Bang around with the waves and then bang around some of that oil, and break it up into smaller particles. And when that happens it just kind of disperses and sinks down below the surface. So, it is still out there, and it is still degrading, to some extent. But, you know, some of it will be rolling in from to time. And what looks to be a clean beach, often-well, often there is more oil there than the eye can see.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES "RIP" KIRBY, COASTAL GEOLOGIST: You can see the sand looks pretty clean, to the naked eye.
MARCIANO (on camera): Yeah.
(Voice over): But after sunset, things look different.
(On camera): It lights up pretty good.
KIRBY: It does. And as you see, it is pretty much anywhere and everywhere.
MARCIANO (voice over): Coastal geologist Rip Kirby can see the oil at night, using an ultraviolet flashlight. Oil particles glow, on the sand, and in the water.
KIRBY: It leaves a little line of oily sand right there, at the end of the wave run up. And when this dries, in the morning, the wind will pick it up and it will move it.
MARCIANO: Across the beach and everything that lives there.
(On camera): So, this is a ghost crab hole, right?
KIRBY: Ghost crab hole, right.
MARCIANO: And particles of orange oil has ended up all the way down this crab's hole, just because he was digging his home?
MARCIANO: So now his home has oil.
(Voice over): Even at over 100 feet from the water, Rip thinks there might be a lower layer of oil. So we dig a little deeper.
(On camera): This is amazing. It is just like you said, like, stratified layers in the Grand Canyon. It is so distinct. Can you see that on camera? I hope you can, because in the naked eye, it is unbelievable. Truly remarkable; that, right there, is oil underneath the surface of the sand.
(voice over): It glows in the dark, but just how toxic is this sand?
KIRBY: Is it a problem for us to be in contact with this petroleum product that is now mixed in with the sand? And the answer to that question is, I don't know.
MARCIANO: Why hasn't someone tested that?
KIRBY: Same question I've been asking for about six weeks.
MARCIANO: So we decided to get it tested with help from the scientists at the University of West Florida.
(voice over): Getting a good average requires taking samples in different spots at different depths.
(On camera): All right. Let's take it back to the lab. There, Doctor Fred Hileman uses a solution to extract the sand, concentrate it and analyze it as a liquid.
DR. FRED HILEMAN, UNIV. WEST FLORIDA: You can just take a look at these samples and you can begin to see the difference in them as far as the oil content.
MARCIANO: It is as plain as day. Clear water, clear sand. Dirty water, dirty sand.
HILEMAN: Or, contaminated.
MARCIANO: Further analysis puts it an exact number on that contamination.
HILEMAN: 2.6 parts per million of oil in that sand sample that was given to us.
MARCIANO: So, 2.6 parts per million, that number? What does it mean to people watching at home?
HILEMAN: A, it says the oil is there. B, the oil is there at low levels.
MARCIANO: Possibly a healthy, or safe, levels?
HILEMAN: Not necessarily hazardous levels.
MARCIANO: So, while scientists agree that that is a relatively low number, there are patches on this beach where there is higher concentrations of oil. And oil, in some cases, that you can visibly see. And oil that certainly wasn't here two months ago, no doubt about that. And will take much more than two months, probably a couple of years for it to completely go away.
On the cap, note, they are going to try that static kill, it looks like, next week, Adrian. And try to at least put that part of the story to bed for good. But I fear that between the oil that is still rolling around out there in the Gulf, and the clean up efforts that are ongoing here, this story is unfortunately not going away for some months, if not years to come.
FINIGHAN: Yes, that is unfortunate. Rob, many thanks to you. It looks absolutely beautiful where you are there, in Fort Pickens, Florida. I think the message to people is that, look, the beaches are damaged, get out there everybody let's get the tourism industry going again. Rob, many thanks indeed.
A passage to India, the British prime minister kicks off a high- profile visit. His mission, to get India to do more business with Britain. How David Cameron plans to forge closer ties. That's next.
FINIGHAN: David Cameron is a man on a mission. Britain's prime minister is in India right now, doing deals and working to forge a stronger relationship. Cameron's big concern is British jobs, but India is worried about the proposed British immigration cap. The prime minister aimed to reassure Indian officials that the new U.K. immigration cap will be enforced, quote, liberally. He proposes a temporary limit of 24,000 skilled workers from outside the EU. The permanent cap, though, is due to take effect if the plans go ahead, next April.
Now thousands of Indian IT graduate staff are part of the immigration debate. Indian IT staff working in Britain are currently exempt from the temporary immigration cap. Britain's prime minister made a declaration about his jobs policy during Wednesday's first stop in Bangalore.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CAMERON, PRIME MINISTER, GREAT BRITAIN: This is a trade mission, yes, but I prefer to see it as my jobs mission. Indian companies employ 90,000 people in the U.K. Many more jobs in Britain exist thanks to the activities of British companies in India. Now I want to see thousands more jobs created in Britain and, of course, in India, through trade in the months and years ahead. That is the core purpose of my visit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FINIGHAN: India means big business for some of Britain's best known companies. BAE Systems and Rolls Royce have signed more than a $1 billion deal with India. Rolls Royce and BAE, Europe's biggest defense contractor will supply India with 57 Hawk jets. Cameron has called that deal, evidence of our new commercial foreign policy. And the IT industry, too. It is no-it is no-no, what's the word I'm trying to think of here. Dabadda da-da-da blah-
It will come to me in a minute.
Ah, Cameron began his visit in Bangalore, the IT hub for India.
I'll wake up in the middle of the night thinking of that word.
He visited the HQ of Infosys. India's number two software exporter. IT and outsourcing computer services is an industry generating an estimated $60 billion of revenue per year.
"Coincidence" is the word I was trying to think of.
For more insight on the changing dynamic between India and the U.K., we are joined now, in the studio by Ravi Pandey, he is senior vice president of-at NIIT Technologies, one of India's major providers of IT training.
Do you ever have moments like that when your brain just goes blank and you can't think of a word?
Ravi, welcome to QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
All right. So, the British prime minister is there to sell Britain to India. This special relationship, but it has got to work both ways. How does India currently view Britain, the old colonial power?
RAVI PANDEY, SR. VICE PRESIDENT, NIIT TECHNOLOGIES: Well, Adrian, first of all thank you for having me on the show.
I haven't considered the question. I don't think England, or Britain, for that matter should view its relationship with India through the presence of this shared heritage of (UNINTELLIGIBLE). The fact is that most of our business leaders, most of the prominent business leaders, were born post-independence. Even our political set is very young. So for them, they take a very hard-headed, a very pragmatic look at the relationship between Britain and India.
FINIGHAN: All right, given this hard-headed, pragmatic view then, of Britain, how then is Britain viewed as a trading partner? I mean, what are the prime minister's chances there of doing-of winning business for Britain?
PANDEY: Very high. India is one of the most natural allies for Britain among the emerging economies. You know, the so-called BRIC nations. We have a shared heritage, as I mentioned, we speak the same language, have a bi-cameral system of government, have a robust democracy, a huge respect for law and a very strong protection of intellectual property. Aside from the love of cricket and curry, you are missing that.
FINIGHAN: Of course, and we have a huge Indian ex-pat community living here in Britain. And a lot of Indian investment already.
PANDEY: Absolutely. Look at our investment into Corvous (ph), Jaguar, Land Rover. I mean, not only are these brands available, India views England as a very important market. And there is a huge opportunity here. We should seize that. I mean, the question to ask is, what has really India done, innovatively, which England can benefit from? If we took technology of mobile from the West, adapted innovation to it, and now have mobile calls at 1 cent a minute in India. We pay 32 pence of a call in England.
PANDEY: I'm sure nobody would quibble if we could bring down the cost by 35.
FINIGHAN: It is really interesting, isn't it, how the power, if you like, has shifted that. Here's India's economy powering ahead. It is the future, whereas Britain, the U.K., perhaps one of the old waning economic powers. I mean, Britain does need India, doesn't it?
PANDEY: But I do not perceive any relationship to be of superior/inferior. A partnership, essentially, is between equals. And both of us need each other. India needs the British investment, India is hungry for investment. India looks at Britain as an equal partner. Rather, the best thing is for each country to look at what both of them can bring to the table. What can they add to each other's country, and what can they sell together. And the deals today are for today, but India has a game for the future and England should look at that as a game for the future.
FINIGHAN: Ravi, it has been great to talk to you. Many thanks, indeed.
PANDEY: Thank you.
FINIGHAN: Ravi Pandey, the senior vice president of NIIT Technologies.
Now, good will and good business. Jim Boulden speaks to the head of the International Olympic Committee and the man who has just agreed to pay him several million dollars. We'll be right back.
FINIGHAN: Proctor & Gamble likes the Olympics. The U.S. company which makes household goods, from Tide detergent to Pantene shampoo, has signed a 10-year sponsorship with the International Olympic Committee. The deal was signed right here in London, which is working flat out to be ready for the summer games, two years from now. CNN's Jim Boulden caught up with IOC President Jacques Rogge, and Proctor & Gamble's chief marketing chief, Marc Pritchard. Jim started by asking Pritchard about the link between goodwill and good business.
MARC PRITCHARD, MARKETING DIRECTOR, PROCTOR & GAMBLE: Well, what this partnership with the IOC allows us to do is really have a very far-reaching program. And it allows us to be able to reach all of our nearly 4 billion consumers that we reached today with our brands. Brands that you are very familiar with, like Pampers, and Crest, and Gillette, and Pantene and Olay; and reach all of those consumers, and more, throughout this partnership.
The other thing is that with the U.S. OC, in Vancouver, it was very successful. We generated nearly $100 million in incremental sales, built our market share and generated lots of impressions for consumers. So, what it allowed us to do is to be able to take that basic program and expand it globally so we can reach more consumers.
BOULDEN: So, you've actually seen the proof that this works as far as a company looking for sales?
PRITCHARD: That's right. You know, we are all about touching and improving the lives of consumers and the way we do that is with our everyday products and Olympic sponsorship that we were able to have there, demonstrated that we could not only do that but we could also build our business. And then this global partnership allows us to do that on a much more far-reaching basis.
BOULDEN: During the recession we all talked about global companies pulling out of sponsorship, would they sponsor this, or sponsor that. Did you cut back a little bit, is this getting back into the game? Or did you not go down that route?
PRITCHARD: Well, it actually turns out that when we bundle our brands together in many cases it is actually far more efficient. Because what it allows us to do is to generate scale for each individual brand program. But as you may have recalled, we also advertise as a company with the P&G proud sponsor of MOM (ph) program. It actually made our advertising about 30 to 37 percent more effective during the Olympic Games. And people are very tuned into the Olympic games as well, which also makes your advertising more efficient and effective.
BOULDEN: Mr. Rogge we can talk about global sponsorship and partnerships, you have some really big names behind you and very long-term sponsor deals. How much more do you need as far as global brands?
JACQUES ROGGE, PRESIDENT, INT'L. OLYMPIC CMTE.: Well, we have indeed 11 iconic companies supporting sport and supporting the Olympics. We have a goal for 12 companies in total but we'll never go beyond 12 companies, in order to not dilute the message.
BOULDEN: And how much money has been raised for the IOC from this effort?
ROGGE: Well, we have the policy not to reveal the exact amount, but I can give you and indirect figure. We have 11 sponsors and more or less $1 billion of gross revenue. So you can make a calculation.
BOULDEN: Can't help but ask you, we're here in London, two years to go. How do you think the progress is going?
ROGGE: Excellent. Excellent. I mean, the organizing committee is on time and on budget. The developed very well the vision that they had by organizing the games. The organizing committee is about much more than having a big sport event.
BOULDEN: The local organizing committee still needs a few more corporate sponsors. They haven't hit their target yet. Are you worried that as we have just come out of a deep recession that maybe companies are a little gun shy?
ROGGE: No, I'm not worried. They did a fantastic effort in a difficult economic time because they started, you know, their sponsorship programs, 2005, 2006. And definitely the difficulty is of seven and eight. They are very close to their target. Their target was around $700 million. They are in a range of maybe a couple of millions from that. And they definitely will get absolutely convinced about that.
FINIGHAN: Jacques Rogge. After the break on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS we'll bring you the second part of our interview with BP's incoming CEO Bob Dudley.
FINIGHAN: Live from London, this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS from CNN.
I'm Adrian Finighan.
More from Bob Dudley in just a moment.
But first, let's look at the main news headlines this hour.
A short time ago, a U.S. judge blocked parts of the state of Arizona's
controversial immigration law. The ruling comes one day before the law was due to go into effect. The judge blocked the section of the law requiring police to check the immigration status of people they detain or stop. She also blocked a section that made it a crime for immigrants to fail to carry their papers.
Pakistani officials say no one survived the crash of a passenger plane near Islamabad. Rescuers are working in heavy rain to recover the bodies of the 152 people who were on board. The Airblue plane was coming from Karachi, making its descent into Islamabad when it crashed into a hillside, the cause is still unknown.
An age old tradition in Spain is now illegal in one region. Today, the parliament in Catalonia voted to ban bullfighting on the grounds of animal cruelty. While some applauded the decision, others say it will have a negative impact on Spanish culture. Some analysts say that Catalan nationalism played a part in the vote.
Now, earlier on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, BP's incoming CEO, Robert Dudley, said that he was confident the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico was fixed.
In the second part of their interview, Max Foster asked him how he felt about stepping into one of the toughest jobs on the planet.
DUDLEY: I deeply believe in the company. I deeply believe in the -- the response and the loyalty of thousands and thousands of people. I know if you've been down to the Gulf, you see it. You see people all across the Gulf, this is what they've been doing without a day off now for nearly 100 days. Some of them came from all over the U.S. and some from other parts of the world.
That's the sort of thing that also energizes me. I'm -- I'm not nervous about it. I -- I am an optimist by nature. I'm an optimist that BP will right the ship, restore its financial stability and meet its commitments. And I'm also optimistic about the restorative nature of the Gulf of Mexico.
FOSTER: And another problem on the political front for you coming up will probably be this pressure from Washington for BP to send someone over to talk about the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. He was a Libyan released from Scotland, the suggestion being that BP was somehow involved in the negotiations to get him released.
Are you going to provide Washington with information or people to answer their questions?
DUDLEY: Well, I saw that Jack Straw was requesting the Scottish secretary and Tony Hayward...
FOSTER: Jack Straw, the Home Secretary in the U.K. at the time.
DUDLEY: That's -- that's right. And -- and those hearings aren't going forward. We did, in fact -- and Tony Hayward, you can understand, is just -- just effectively moving toward stepping down. We were going to send vice president of government relations here out of London, who is very conversant in what BP relationships were with the U.K. government back in 2007. And they said they didn't want to...
FOSTER: They wanted Tony.
DUDLEY: They wanted Tony. And I -- I think it shouldn't be interpreted that we weren't being cooperative.
FOSTER: But is that offer still open?
DUDLEY: Absolutely. Yes. The offer is definitely open. I think Peter Mather, who works with us, would -- have would have done a fine job representing things. BP did not lobby for the release of al-Megrahi.
FOSTER: You are -- were lobbying for deals -- oil deals to open up between Libya and the U.K.
DUDLEY: And we were -- we were informed about a prisoner transfer agreement that was...
FOSTER: Which you lobbied for?
DUDLEY: Well, we didn't lobby for it, we just essentially, at some public record, we just said probably the ratification of this may not happen unless the prisoner transfer agreement is in place. That is a standard agreement among nations that are normalizing relations. I know that...
FOSTER: So you were pushing for the transfer agreement, but not al- Megrahi in particular?
DUDLEY: Oh, absolutely not. We have a -- we have an expiration contract there. It may or may not, you know, be successful. But what you see happening and have evolved in -- in Libya -- and it's a terrible tragedy, an absolutely terrible tragedy what happened to the American -- the Americans on that plane and -- and others. We have a country that began to normalize and move toward inter -- the international community over -- over time here. And as a result of that, you have European companies, you have BP and you have American companies there that now have commercial relations. And I don't think that should be forgotten in this, either.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
FINIGHAN: BP's incoming CEO, Bob Dudley there, speaking with CNN's Max Foster.
Controversy over immigrant -- authorities in Britain, the U.S. and elsewhere are trying to put up new barriers. In just a minute, we'll have more details on the U.S. court ruling of Arizona's new immigration law.
Stay with us on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
FINIGHAN: Hello again.
In the last hour, a U.S. judge has blocked part of Arizona's controversial immigration law. The ruling comes just a day before the law was due to go into effect. Now, the judging blocked the section of the law requiring police to check the immigration status of people that they detain or stop. She also ruled against a section that makes it a crime for immigrants to fail to carry their registration papers.
Now, the Obama administration had sought an injunction to keep the law from going into effect. The judge ruled that the federal government rather than the state of Arizona, has jurisdiction over immigration matters.
The move hands a victory not only to the White House, but to the man protesters who've taken a stand against the controversial law.
Well, let's go live now to Arizona, where we're joined by Barry Broome.
He's the president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.
Barry, thanks for being with us on CNN.
And I know you had particular concerns about the economic fallout, the impact that this law, if it had come into effect in full, might have on the economy of -- of Arizona.
What -- what's your view now on what the judge has -- has done today?
BARRY BROOME, GREATER PHOENIX ECONOMIC COUNCIL: Well, we're still saddled with the exact same challenges we have been before. We have a porous border, which is a legitimate safety issue to Arizona residents. We still have a -- an undocumented workforce that we need to get a handle on so that they pay their appropriate contributions toward their public benefits. And we still have a broken national immigration picture.
So from a reputation standpoint, you know, hopefully Arizona won't become the political football on this immigrant debate any longer. It will become national. From that standpoint, I'm relieved. And, hopefully, from a state perspective, we'll get back to the salient issues of improving our schools and our tax policy and growing our economy.
FINIGHAN: You talk about -- about it becoming a -- a political football. This is the -- the -- the knock on effect that many people, I think, watching hadn't actually realized, the fact that even when this law came or was first mooted, people started to -- to boycott businesses in Arizona, isn't that right?
BROOME: Yes, there was a -- you know, both sides of the issue, what was damaging there is that conservatives were defending the law by overstating crime statistics. This is the safest Arizona has been since 1971. Our cities are very safe, our state is very safe. But under the pressure of the criticism, you know, people started -- on the conservative side, calling us the kidnapping capital of the world -- statistics that weren't completely true, characterizing violence on the border that was not necessarily defendable or accurate.
So, on one hand, we were trying to defend to industry that we were very safe from the effects of that. And then, on the other side, a lot of international business coming to Arizona and companies from Spain and Europe that are coming to Arizona were asking us, do our people have to carry papers or will there be pulled over going to get ice cream?
So the left was inflaming the issue on the social justice side. The conservatives were inflaming the issue on the crime side. And Arizona was the loser in between.
FINIGHAN: And the law had -- if it had come into effect in full -- had threatened to kick off a trade war within the United States. I mean that's unimaginable.
Has that threat gone away?
BROOME: Well, you know, the -- the other thing that has happened is, you know, our reputation -- and I think unfairly -- has been bruised, you know, from this experience. You know, Arizona is an incredibly amazing place, where Anglo and Latino families live together. We're a very integrated society. You could do an entire show on the first achievement of American Latinos in the state of Arizona, whether it be governors, judges, congressmen or president of universities.
So the unfair characterization of Arizona is still lingering out there. I think we have some work to do on our brand. But what really concerned me was the polarization and potential civil unrest here in our community between ourselves. Many people in the Northeast have lived through very difficult economic fallout from race issues. You know, I live in an integrated neighborhood and feel very comfortable there. Arizona is a very integrated state.
So the fact that the polarization and the threat of civil unrest has gone away is probably a bigger relief than the potential effect of boycotts.
FINIGHAN: Yes, tell -- I mean we -- we're a business show here, Barry. Just for anyone who -- who perhaps is in -- is interested in this, this whole immigration issue, wherever they may be in the world, tell us about -- about how this -- this issue of boycotts threatened to damage trade -- interstate trade there between Arizona and -- and California, for instance.
BROOME: Well, for instance, Los Angeles and San Francisco passed legislation that not only included boycotting travel and interface with the Arizona market -- and California is, by far, our biggest trading partner -- but they started to actually, we felt illegally, go into their public contracts and threaten to take contracts from law abiding Arizona businesses that had delivered on their fiduciary responsibility on things like transportation and public safety, public infrastructure in places like Los Angeles.
They threatened businesses in Arizona if they didn't...
FINIGHAN: Sorry. Sorry, Barry, I'm going -- I'm going to have to stop you there.
We -- we're right out of time.
But it's great to talk to you.
I really appreciate you coming in and -- and telling us about -- about this issue from -- from your perspective.
That's Barry Broome, the president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council speaking there from Arizona.
That's it for QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for today.
I'm Adrian Finighan in London.
Stay with us.
"MARKETPLACE AFRICA" coming up right after the break.