British oil company BP has overhauled 24 of 51 upstream facilities, other turnarounds under way, says CEO in internal memo following press reports of a raid on its Moscow offices and oil sheen in the Gulf of Mexico, which it denies

LOS ANGELES , September 6, 2011 () – U.K.-based oil producer BP PLC is making “real, solid and measurable progress” to ensure its future success, according to an internal memo intended to reassure employees following negative press reports, reported The Wall Street Journal on Sept. 6.

Calling the media reports “noise,” BP CEO Bob Dudley, asked employees to look “away from the headlines,” according to the emailed memo, which was reviewed by the Journal.

The news has indicated that BP’s Moscow offices were raided and an oil sheen has appeared in the Gulf of Mexico, which the company denied, the Journal reported.

The raid, which was prompted by a lawsuit against BP for dissolving its joint venture with Russian oil company OAO Rosneft, is “baseless,” said Dudley.

Since last Tuesday, when the Moscow raid and the latest lawsuit related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill was reported by the media, BP’s stock has declined nearly 10%, reported the Journal.

In a lawsuit filed last week, Halliburton Co. charges that BP withheld critical information about last year’s explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

Dudley said that Halliburton’s assertions in the lawsuit are “neither relevant nor accurate,” the Journal reported.

BP is moving forward with maintenance on its oil facilities, in addition to reducing its injury rate, said Dudley. Of the 51 turnarounds slated, 24 have been completed and others are “well under way,” he said, calling this progress “the real story for BP.”

The company has spent US$7 billion to compensate those who suffered in the Gulf oil spill, as well as “investing in the Gulf states, supporting fishing and tourism and monitoring long-term impacts,” said Dudley, the Journal reported.

Citing recent contracts awarded in the Gulf of Mexico, Dudley said BP is coming off its “best year in a decade in gaining new access to resources.”

BP has been criticized by analysts for ending the Rosneft deal. The plaintiffs in that lawsuit are shareholders of the Russian joint venture TNK-BP, who seek damages because the Arctic exploration deal with Rosneft was not completed with TNK-BP.

Dudley said BP’s Moscow office “is back to normal,” reported the Journal.

The primary source of this article is The Wall Street Journal, New York, New York, on Sept. 6, 2011.

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