Sunday, February 10, 2013

BP’s Penalty Hits $36 Billion Since Spill; Transocean, Cameron Also Fall

The day after President Obama spoke in Louisiana about BP’s (BP) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP stock is down $3.79, or 7%, at $48.36.

Since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig on April 20, the stock has fallen 20%, a total loss of market cap of $36 billion. Obama reiterated the government’s contention BP will be responsible for the total cleanup cost.

Dow Jones Newswires reports that BP has deployed executives to the U.S. in high-profile talk-show appearances to spin the news, even as the Financial Times reports the Coast Guard commandant at the scene warned yesterday the spill could rise to 100,000 barrels per day, far in excess of the current 5,000 per day estimate.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jeffrey Ball reports some are saying the spill could end up being bigger than the 1989 Exxon Mobil (XOM) spill in Alaska, although I’d note that Citigroup analyst Mark Fletcher on Friday argued that wasn’t such a big deal, given that Exxon wound up paying less than $1 billion in damages.

And in an interesting side note, Transocean’s (RIG) board of directors last year eliminated its executives’ bonuses, the Journal’s Rebecca Smith and Ben Casselman reported, citing the need to put incentives in place to encourage greater responsibility after 4 Transocean workers died on the job last year.

Transocean shares today are are down $3.17, or 4.4%, at $69.15.

Cameron International (CAM), makers of a blow-out preventer meant to act as a failsafe for the Transocean rig, is also down today, falling $1.26, or 3%, to $38.20.

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