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BP Chief Slams Excessive Regulation

by Robin Pilgrim, LawAndTax-News.com, London

13 December 2005


In a recent interview with the The Daily Telegraph, BP's chief executive Lord Browne bemoaned the increasing costs imposed on the oil firm as a result of Sarbanes-Oxley in the United States, and commented for the first time on the tax increase imposed on the oil sector by UK Chancellor, Gordon Brown.

Lord Browne told the newspaper that additional "external" regulatory costs for the firm are in the region of $100 million per year, and added that:

"Of course that doesn't count the time we spend on it internally. We hope that cost will come down but these things are expensive."

He continued:

"It's a somewhat futile claim for a large company to say it's too much. Most people would say that you can afford it...I don't see any easy way back from where we are at the moment. I just don't see it. It's possible that someone some time will have a very, very good idea that maybe it's excessive, maybe it should be rolled back."

Meanwhile, alluding to the recent tax changes for oil firms, the BP chief explained that:

"What we like to see from governments is stability. Anything that changes that is bound to alter the framework for investment."


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