Tony Hayward, BP’s baby-faced new CEO, has pledged to turn the oil giant’s fortune around in the next two to three years. Hayward told The Sunday Telegraph over the weekend, that “we have been on the downward spiral for three or four years and it will take us two or three years to come back up”.

He said: “This is going to be step by step. It’s not whiz-bang fireworks today, everything is fixed. It is step by step over two to three years, but we have going for us a bit of a revenue wave from the stuff that is coming in so we will see if we can pick the wave.”

His target is likely to be seen as ambitious by rival industry executives, especially those oil-boys from Exxon. I doubt they are quacking in their boots.