The BP Quote Hall of Fame

BP’s quotes just keep getting better. BP CEO Tony Hayward isn’t exactly the smoothest talker on the planet (okay, he’s a PR nightmare), but, as BP Chairman of the Board Carl-Henric Svanberg recently proved, he’s not the company’s only foot-in-mouther. Here’s a compilation of BP’s best post-Gulf spill quotes, so far:

“I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are greedy companies or don’t care. But that is not the case with BP. We care about the small people.” BP Chairman of the Board Carl-Henric Svanberg, talking to reporters after a meeting with President Obama.

“I think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to have been very, very modest.” (Tony Hayward, shortly after the spill started.)

“What the hell did we do to deserve this?” (Tony Hayward to other BP executives after the spill, as reported by the New York Times.)

When reporters asked Tony Hayward what he wanted to tell locals affected by the spill, he said this: “The first thing to say is I’m sorry. We’re sorry for the massive disruption it’s caused their lives. There’s no one who wants this over more than I do. I would like my life back.”

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“I’m a Brit. I can take it.” (Tony Hayward, responding to inquiries about his poor press performance.)

“The oil is on the surface. There aren’t any plumes.” (Tony Hayward)

When workers cleaning up the Gulf oil spill reported symptoms of illness including nausea, dizziness, and headaches, Tony Hayward had this to say: “I am sure they were genuinely ill, but whether it was anything to do with dispersants and oil, whether it was food poisoning or some other reason for them being ill, you know, there’s a—food poisoning is surely a big issue when you’ve got a concentration of this number of people in temporary camps, temporary accommodations.”

Written by Drea Knufken

Drea Knufken

Currently, I create and execute content- and PR strategies for clients, including thought leadership and messaging. I also ghostwrite and produce press releases, white papers, case studies and other collateral.