BP GULF SPILL PROBE UNCOVERS VALVE BLOCKAGE
BP’s Macondo well continued to spill oil into the Gulf of Mexico after the Deep water Horizon rig explosion last year because a piece of pipe was wedged in the valves that were supposed to shut it off, an investigation into the accident has found. The blow-out preventer, the stack of valves on the sea bed intended to prevent escapes of oil and gas, failed to close properly because a section of drill pipe had buckled inside the well, obstructing the “rams” deployed to seal it, according to Det Norske Veritas, a consultancy hired by the US interior department. The failure of the blow-out preventer was a missing piece of the picture.
CONOCOPHILLIPS TO SELL UP TO $10BN IN ASSETS
ConocoPhillips, the third-biggest oil and gas company in the US, said it would shed an additional $5bn-$10bn in assets during the next two years on top of $7bn sold last year. The company’s shrink-to-grow strategy has been welcomed by investors, who pushed the company’s share price up by more than 40 per cent during the past year. Yesterday, when the additional sales were announced, Conoco shares rose 65 cents to $77.87 the NYSE in late morning trading.
The Daily Telegraph
GOLDMAN SACHS' LLOYD BLANKFEIN TELLS COURT THAT FORMER BOARD MEMBER BROKE FIRM’S RULES
Lloyd Blankfein, the chairman and chief executive of Goldman Sachs, told a New York court that a former board member broke the bank’s rules by revealing discussions of its strategy review to Raj Rajaratnam, a billionaire hedge fund manager on trial for insider trading. Blankfein was called by government prosecutors as a witness in the third week of the trial of Mr Rajaratnam, who is accused of making $45m (£27m) trading shares based on inside information. Some of that information, prosecutors allege, came from Rajat Gupta, who was a director on Goldman’s board between 2006 and 2010.
PAY BONUSES WITH COCOS SAYS BANK OFFICIAL
A Bank of England official has said there is a strong case for bonuses to be paid in the form of contingent convertible capital — securities that convert into loss-absorbing equity when a bank is in trouble. Executive director Andy Haldane suggested if half of City bonuses and dividends since 2000 had been paid in “cocos” the bank bailout might have been averted.