THIS isn’t the end, but it is certainly the beginning of the end. Counterintuitively, the spill commission’s report is good news for BP, the best it’s had in some time.
It censures BP, that is to be expected. But it also singles out Transocean and Halliburton for blame. The authorities – only too keen to wag a finger from the sidelines – also come in for some uncomfortable criticism.
The commission’s conclusions only reinforce our view that it will be almost impossible to prove that BP acted with gross negligence.
For that reason, analysts at Evolution think the total impact of the spill will be around $25-$30bn rather than the $40-$50bn being priced in by the market. And that’s before makes claims against Transocean and Halliburton.
It’s earlier than we expected, but it could well be time to buy BP again. If not now, then when?