Aug. 7, 2013, 2:02 PM
- A federal judge rules BP is obligated to fund the Gulf oil spill settlement program's Q3 budget of $130M even though the company complained that claims administrator Patrick Juneau hasn't provided adequate documentation for the requested money.
- The judge did say BP has "legitimate concerns" about Juneau's operation of the program.
Aug. 7, 2013, 10:40 AM
- A federal judge holds a hearing today for BP (BP +0.4%) to justify why it has balked at paying more than $130M in fees to the court-supervised administrator of its multi-billion dollar settlement with Gulf Coast businesses and residents after the 2010 oil spill.
- BP sent a letter Monday to the administrator saying its request for a $130M Q3 budget needed a lengthy compendium of additional information to back up the request.
- Separately, BP asks a judge to suspend all settlement payments while former FBI Director Louis Freeh investigates allegations of misconduct by an attorney who worked on the settlement administrator's staff.
Aug. 6, 2013, 10:56 AM
- BP said Monday it discovered new evidence of fraud and conflicts of interest in the program paying billions of dollars to businesses and residents who claimed they were harmed by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
- Two lawyers reviewing appeals of disputed claims were partners at law firms representing claimants before the court-supervised settlement program and thus had apparent conflicts of interest, BP says.
- "BP should not have to face the substantial risk of irreparable harm from improper payments," it says.
Aug. 5, 2013, 2:38 PM
- Royal Dutch Shell's (RDS.A, RDS.B) 126K-ton Olympus tension-leg platform has reached its final destination at the Mars field in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, as it prepares for first oil sometime next year.
- The facility - Shell's sixth and largest TLP - is designed to handle 100K boe/day from Mars B and satellite fields; the Mars B discovery is expected to extend the reserves life of the Mars basin to at least 2050.
- Shell is operator of Mars B with a 71.5% working interest; BP holds the remaining 28.5% stake.
Aug. 5, 2013, 9:49 AM
- The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission orders BP to respond to allegations of manipulation in the natural gas market at the Houston Ship Channel during 2008, threatening the company with ~$29M in fines.
- FERC posted the original allegations in 2011; the order marks the next stage in proceedings and indicates the regulator believes there is a case to answer.
- FERC last month settled a power market manipulation case with JPMorgan for $410M and is seeking $470M from Barclays over allegations of similar activities.
Aug. 4, 2013, 3:16 AM
- Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto is expected to introduce a proposal in the country's Senate on Wednesday that would change the constitution to allow private companies to produce oil and gas via profit-sharing deals and joint ventures with state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex).
- The plan would end Pemex's decades-old monopoly, with the idea being to attract the expertise and deep pockets of major oil companies such as BP (BP), Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Shell (RDS.A) to help extract oil and gas in difficult-to-get-to places, such as deep under the sea.
- The chances of success appear to be high, as Nieto can count on his own PRI party and the right-wing PAN opposition group to back the reform.
- "A transformational change in the energy market has the potential to finally place Mexico at the center of the stage among emerging markets," says Nomura Securities
Aug. 4, 2013, 2:19 AM
- BP (BP) has warned that the agreement it reached last year with private parties over the 2012 Gulf oil spill could be torpedoed if a U.S. appeals court doesn't overturn the loose interpretation of payments that claims administrator Patrick Juneau is using.
- BP argues that Juneau's decisions have led to victims with similar damages receiving different levels of compensation, which breaches the legal requirements of a class, or group settlement.
- BP is fighting Juneau's interpretation of the agreement, because, in the company's view, it has led to businesses receiving hundreds of millions of dollars for losses unrelated to the spill. However, BP has had no luck so far in trying to persuade District Court Judge Carl Barbier to overrule Juneau.
Jul. 30, 2013, 12:18 PM
- The Shah Deniz consortium developing the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, slated to ship natural gas from the Caspian region to Italy, says a group of gas producers including BP has effectively taken control of the project.
- BP and Azerbaijan's state-owned Socar each acquired 20% stakes in TAP, while France's Total (TOT) bought a 10% share; holdings of previously existing TAP shareholders including Statoil (STO) are reduced.
- Initially 10B cubic meters each year will be exported through TAP; the pipeline is expandable to ~20B cm/year.
Jul. 30, 2013, 11:15 AM
- CEO Bob Dudley says BP (BP -3.9%) is digging in for a long battle over Gulf of Mexico compensation costs, with a settlement with the U.S. now seen as "highly unlikely."
- Cumulative charges to be paid reached $19.7B at the end of Q2; the $20B fund is almost tapped out, so BP would then need to make more charges to its income statement after already taking $42.4B in spill-related charges.
- The spill isn't BP's only problem: U.S. liquids production of 335K bbl/day was its lowest in 15 years, an RBC analyst says. (Q2 results)
Jul. 30, 2013, 7:58 AM
- BP says it will keep its U.S. wind farm business after failing to attract an acceptable bid; reports indicated BP had been hoping for $1.5B.
- A sale was seen as a continuation of the retreat of big oil companies from renewable energy while oil and gas projects offer better returns, and would have contributed to BP's mounting oil spill costs. (Q2 earnings)
- SNL says the cancellation will raise questions about whether BP’s priorities have changed again.
- Shares -5.1% premarket.
Jul. 30, 2013, 3:17 AM
- BP (BP): Q2 adjusted net profit drops to $2.71B from $3.6B a year ago and misses expectations of $3.41B.
- $20B Gulf of Mexico oil spill compensation fund has just $300M left, with costs for provision increasing by $1.4B.
- Claims beyond that which the fund can pay will come from future profits.
- Results also hurt by falling oil prices, a higher tax rate and lower income from Russia. (PR)
Jul. 30, 2013, 12:05 AM
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Jul. 29, 2013, 5:30 PM
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Jul. 27, 2013, 8:25 AMHalliburton's (HAL) plea deal may help BP in its Gulf oil spill liability battle, since it would now seem less plausible for HAL to argue in any litigation between the two companies that it had warned BP about something for which evidence was destroyed. BP, for its part, continued this week to paint itself as a victim against a mountain of compensation claims, but pictures of the Gulf's newest flaming rig won't help. | 3 Comments
Jul. 24, 2013, 2:19 PMNearly 100 oil companies including Exxon (XOM), Conoco (COP) and BP are sued by a Louisiana flood protection group seeking the repair of coastal storm buffers, claiming they degraded storm protections by dredging canals for pipelines and exploring in coastal wetlands. The industry, which has a fund that uses oil royalties to restore damaged areas, says wetlands have been degraded by many factors. | 11 Comments
Jul. 19, 2013, 12:34 PMA federal judge denies BP's (BP +0.7%) request to temporarily halt settlement payments to businesses/residents affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. BP has been arguing payments should be halted while former FBI chief Louis Freeh investigates alleged misconduct by a lawyer helping to oversee the payment program. | 7 Comments
BP vs. ETF Alternatives
BP PLC provides energy products and services. The company explores for oil and natural gas and also engages in supply and trading of crude oil, petroleum, petrochemicals products and related services.
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