BP puts £88m price tag on the millennium bug

BP will spend about £88m on addressing potential problems with the millennium bug in its computer systems, John Browne, chief executive, said last week. He said the microprocessors that monitored and controlled the operation of refineries constituted the greatest potential hazard from computers’ inability to register the year 2000. All these were being checked to […]

BP will spend about £88m on addressing potential problems with the millennium bug in its computer systems, John Browne, chief executive, said last week.

He said the microprocessors that monitored and controlled the operation of refineries constituted the greatest potential hazard from computers’ inability to register the year 2000. All these were being checked to see how they coped. ‘So far, all so good,’ said Browne.

BP last year appointed a millennium project manager, Stephen Ind, to coordinate the operation, much of which is being carried out with the company’s business partners – other oil companies, banks, contractors and hardware suppliers.

BP’s priority in carrying out the task is safety – mainly in its process operations – to ensure that the date changes do not endanger personal safety, interrupt safety systems or result in spillages. Second comes the effect on cash flow, and finally the more general area of reputation.