May 11, 2010 / 5:28 PM / 7 years ago

BP says Gulf blow out preventer had been modified

WASHINGTON, May 11 (Reuters) - The blow-out preventer that was supposed to help protect against the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico had been modified, BP America Inc (BP.L) President Lamar McKay told a senate panel on Tuesday.

"I have reason to believe the BOP had been modified," McKay told the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resource, which held its first hearing into the causes of the spill that killed 11 workers and caused a leak that is still releasing thousands of barrels of oil per day.

Steven Newman, the president and chief executive of Transocean Ltd (RIGN.S) said the blowout preventer had been modified in 2005 at the request of BP.

Reporting by Timothy Gardner

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