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BP’s Svanberg Agrees to $20 Billion Fund After Obama Meeting

BP Plc Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg agreed to provide $20 billion to pay “all proper claims” from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill after what he called a constructive meeting with President Barack Obama.

“He’s frustrated, because he cares about the small people, and we care about the small people,” Svanberg said today after the White House meeting. “I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are greedy companies that don’t care. That is not the case in BP. We care about the small people.”

Svanberg spoke after meeting Obama and his senior advisers to hammer out the plan for compensating Gulf Coast residents and businesses affect by the oil spill from a damaged BP well. The chairman apologized for the oil spill, which he called an accident that shouldn’t have happened.

He was accompanied by Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward, Lamar McKay, president of BP America Inc., Robert Dudley, BP managing director, and company lawyers.

Along with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, administration officials in the meeting included Attorney General Eric Holder, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, Lawrence Summers, head of the National Economic Council, Bob Bauer, chief lawyer to the president, and Carol Browner, the president’s adviser on energy and climate change.

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