UPDATE: BP Chairman apologizes for oil spill

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg has apologized to the American people for his company’s devastating Gulf oil spill.

Svanberg also expressed appreciation to Americans for their patience as the company works to end the spill.

He made the remarks Wednesday following a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House.

Svanberg expressed sorrow for victims of the spill, saying “This tragic accident … should have never happened.”

Eleven people died in the April 20 explosion at the well site.

After meeting with top BP officials, President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday that the oil giant has agreed to set aside an initial $20 billion to pay the victims of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, calling it “an important step toward making the people of the Gulf Coast whole again.”

Svanberg also said that the oil company will suspend its quarterly dividend as part of its commitments to compensate victims of the Gulf oil spill.