Ex-BP traders in court fight

SIX former BP traders sued by the oil major for breach of contract in Singapore have applied to the court to set aside a search order that had allowed BP's lawyers to seize their personal computers and mobile phones, according to court documents yesterday.

BP has accused the six of engineering the mass departures of 20 staff and conducting negotiations with Hong Kong-listed rival Brightoil, about setting up a competing business, while employed by the major.

But the traders said the mass resignations from BP’s global fuel oil trading desk and Asia marine fuels teams were triggered by policy changes and tightening controls on trading, which they considered had diminished their roles and also led to lower bonuses.

Meanwhile, BP says it plans to inject mud and possibly cement into its Gulf of Mexico oil well today, in one of the final steps to permanently seal it. the move is known as “static kill”.

Finally, outgoing chief executive Tony Hayward and incoming boss Bob Dudley are set to meet with Russian deputy prime minister Igor Sechin this week to introduce Dudley to the Kremlin as chief executive. Dudley takes over in October.