BP's Hayward vows to pay all oil spill costs, assures shareholders

Hayward assured shareholders that the company will meet all of the spill's costs as well as obligations to "our employees, and to our other stakeholders, including hundreds of thousands of shareholders and millions more savers in mutual and pension funds, who rely on their investment in BP as part of their financial security and in many cases their retirement income."

"The financial consequences of this incident will undoubtedly be severe but BP is a strong company and we have weathered many storms before," he said. 

The company will "apply of the necessary resources to the aftermath, both in the clean-up operation and in remediation and payment of legitimate claims. These are our most critical and immediate tasks," Svanberg said. 

"It remains our aim as always to strike the right balance for shareholders between current returns through the dividend, sustained investment for long-term growth and maintaining a prudent gearing level. We will do all we can to protect and grow the value of the company in which you have invested," he said.