Update comes amid speculation that BP could face hostile takeover from US rival ExxonMobil
Richard Wray - GUARDIAN
- July 12, 2010
What will the future of oil availability look like? --Ed.
Shares in BP rose more than 5% in early trading today as the oil firm said the latest attempt to cap the gushing well in the Gulf of Mexico is proceeding "as planned".
In an update on the progress of work to try to cap the damaged well, which began over the weekend, BP said it removed the original cap on the failed blow-out preventer on Saturday afternoon, local time. While that means oil is now gushing unhindered into the sea, the next step is to install what BP calls a "capping stack" that should contain the whole flow.
The update, which put the cost of the clean-up at $3.5bn (£2.33bn) so far, comes amid speculation that BP could be facing a hostile takeover from a rival firm, which has also helped push BP shares higher. They were up 17.75p at 382.55p, having earlier touched 386p. The company is vulnerable, having seen its share price plunge since the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 people on 20 April. Weekend reports suggested the Obama administration has told ExxonMobil the world's largest oil firm that it would not stand in the way of a takeover bid for the stricken British rival. A merger would create a group with a stock market value of $400bn .
Tony Hayward, BP's chief executive, is only too aware of the precarious position of his company and has spent the past two weeks trying to sign so-called white knight investors from among some of the world's most wealthy sovereign states. He is understood to have... [Read More]