So BP is meant to have entered a new era with its new CEO Tony Hayward. But where was Hayward until recently? He was in charge of BP’s exploration and production division.

He was in charge of the company’s Alaskan operations that have been plagued by problems of cost cutting and corrosion. Well now US congressmen have criticised BP for withholding corrosion documents about its Alaskan operations and for not forcing the man who led its corrosion programme to co-operate with government investigators. The company is likely to face significant fines.

“It looks like BP is trying to do the right thing in public but it’s fighting like a tiger in private,” said Joe Barton, the highest ranking Republican on the US House Energy and Commerce committee. “This doesn’t look like co-operation to me.”

“It is ironic that Tony Hayward managed the upstream division including Prudhoe Bay during these past years of corrosion mismanagement and is today the chief executive officer of BP; particularly at a time when BP is attempting to regain its reputation,” adds Chuck Hamel, advocate for BP’s Alaska workers, who was instrumental in bringing the troubled field to Congress’s attention.

Republican Bart Stupak, chairman of the House Energy subcommittee on oversight and investigations added: “My review of the mountain of circumstantial evidence can only lead me to the conclusion that severe pressure for cost-cutting did have an impact on maintenance of pipelines”.

Mr Stupak said corrosion monitoring efforts were reduced or put on hold because of budget pressures. “This was occurring while BP received more than $106bn in profit,” he said.

Bodes well for the future..