Thursday 30 March 2017

BP has paid $2bn bill for oil spill

Tom Bergin in Lafitte

British energy giant BP, accused by US lawmakers of putting savings over safety, said yesterday it had spent $2bn (€1.6bn) so far on cleaning up its huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

But investors, who drove down BP's share price more than 2pc yesterday, are more concerned about the final tally of cleaning up the spill.

The company faces lawsuits, huge fines and damage claims that are expected to cost many billions more. BP agreed last week to set up a $20bn compensation fund.

It is believed BP plans to raise cash from banks to ensure it has enough money on hand to pay for the clean-up.

Banking sources said last week that it was seeking to arrange $7bn (€5.7bn) from banks.

BP has said that it will suspend dividend payments to its shareholders and increase the pace of asset sales to $10bn (€8.1) this year to offset liabilities from the spill.

The crisis began after an explosion on an offshore oil rig on April 20 that killed 11 workers.

Irish Independent

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