The board of directors of the British energy company BP is meeting Monday to decide the fate of company chief executive Tony Hayward, who has been criticized regarding his handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
BP says that no final decision has been made about changes in management, including the future of Hayward. But media reports say he could be replaced by Bob Dudley, an American currently charged with the clean-up operation in the Gulf.
Hayward has been under pressure to step down over what is seen as his lack of compassion for the oil workers who lost their lives and the residents of the U.S. Gulf states who have been harmed by the spill.
The oil spill followed an explosion at the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon oil platform on April 20 that killed 11 workers. Efforts to permanently plug the ruptured well resumed Sunday, after a tropical storm in the Gulf last week forced BP Hayward's comment a month after the April 20 explosion that he wanted his life back drew considerable attention. He was later seen attending a prestigious yacht race in England.
The head of the U.S. government's response team, retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, says current efforts to seal the well are focused on what is called "static kill," which involves pumping heavy mud and then cement into the top of the well cap. Allen says that operation could begin before week's end.
Meanwhile, the drilling of relief wells continues. Those wells, which are seen as the ultimate solution to ending the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, are not expected to be ready before mid-August.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.