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BP to launch large scale fund raising

BP IS structuring a plan to raise more than double the amount it has already dedicated to paying out in compensation claims arising from the Gulf of Mexico disaster.

It is understood that the board is currently discussing a number of options that could see the embattled oil major raise roughly $50bn (£33.7bn) to cover the costs of the spill.

The group is thought to be planning a $10bn bond sale, which could start as early as next week, while a further $20bn could come from the sale of assets over the next two years.

BP is also understood to have entered into discussions with several banks in a bid to raise the remaining $20bn in loans.

A spokesperson from the embattled oil major declined to comment on specifics, but said that it is in ongoing discussions with its advisers, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS and Blackstone.

Last week BP had its rating slashed by Moody’s, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s (S&P).

Moody’s downgraded BP to A2 from Aa2, while Fitch knocked BP down six notches to BBB and S&P down two notches to A.

Meanwhile, BP announced over the weekend that it has already paid out $104m in compensation claims linked to the Gulf disaster.

Darryl Willis, of the BP claims team said: “Our focus has been on getting money into the hands of fishermen, shrimpers, condo owners and others who have not been able to earn income due to the spill.

“We have also been addressing the larger, more complex claims and have been successful in sending more cheques to commercial entities.”

Last week BP agreed to set up a $20bn escrow account to pay for compensation claims coming from the Gulf.

The fund will be independently managed by Kenneth Feinberg, who famously managed the claims arising from the 9/11 attacks.