Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

BP spill clean-up bill hits £7.1bn

BP's clean-up bill for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has risen to £7.1 billion
BP's clean-up bill for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has risen to £7.1 billion

The clean-up bill for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has risen to 11.2 billion US dollars (£7.1 billion), BP said as new boss Bob Dudley officially takes up the reins.

The firm, which sees Mr Dudley take over from embattled chief executive Tony Hayward, said it had also pledged assets including interests in production from its major Thunder Horse and Mad Dog operations to support a £20 billion compensation fund.

But despite mounting costs for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP cheered investors after Mr Dudley hinted that dividend payments would resume within months.

Shares in the group were up another 2% after closing 2% higher on Thursday.

Mr Dudley suggested dividends could restart early next year, saying the board would discuss the prospect of paying a dividend in the first quarter.

BP stopped paying out to shareholders in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, but political pressure has eased since the group's move to ring-fence its mammoth compensation fund.

The firm also appeased long-suffering shareholders earlier this week with decisive action to rebuild trust following the spill.

Mr Dudley unveiled a management overhaul in exploration and the creation of a new safety division.

Exploration chief Andy Inglis will leave as a result of the shake-up.

The explosion on April 20 killed 11 workers and caused an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil to gush into the Gulf - the largest offshore spill in history.

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