BP sees stock rise after US spill report

Marion Dakers
SHARES IN BP rose yesterday morning following the early release of a US panel’s findings into the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which pinned blame on both the oil giant and its partners.

An excerpt from the report criticised the oil industry for systemic risks and cost-cutting, but also pointed to failures by contractors Transocean and Halliburton.

Analysts predicted that the report from the US National Commission set up by Barack Obama following the spill would make it harder for victims to succeed in lawsuits against BP for gross negligence.

Richard Griffith from Evolution Securities said: “The report may provide grounds for BP to claw back monies from licence partners and possibly Transocean and Halliburton. While today’s report is damning it does in our view underpin out target price of 510p.”

Analysts at BNP Paribas agreed, adding in a note: “This is the critical decision as, if not proved, BP can reclaim 35 per cent of total costs from its partners (having taken 100 per cent to date): it is also positive for future Gulf of Mexico activity.”

Junior partners at the Macondo well, Anadarko and Mitsui, both saw their shares dip yesterday.

Transocean and BP both rose in early trading, though BP later shed gains to close down 0.5 per cent at 496.9p.

The US commission’s full report is due out on Tuesday.