Monday, April 18, 2011

BP shareholders urge assets sell-off

The BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig ablaze in April 2010

Source: Press TV

Some of the oil giant BP's largest shareholders are calling for the firm to sell off up to half of its assets, a year after the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP has already sold some $23 billion worth of assets to help pay for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill as part of plans to divest $30 billion by the end of 2011, but some of the firm's top 10 investors have called on the company to sell another $30 billion worth of assets, the Sunday Times reported on Saturday.

The investors say the move is aimed at coming up with the money to pay for the clean-up of the spill and compensate its victims. However, a BP spokesman has said that the company is "comfortable" with its current level of fundraising.

"The $30bn will cover the costs of the Gulf of Mexico clean-up and the compensation fund,” the spokesman added.

The move comes as environmentalists say the impact of the oil spill is a lot worse than previously thought. Millions of barrels of crude leaked into the Gulf of Mexico last year after a blast on BP's Deepwater Horizon rig.

The April 20 explosion on the drilling rig off the Louisiana coast killed 11 people and triggered the worst oil disaster in the US history.

Last week, fishermen and disgruntled shareholders protested against the oil giant at its first annual general meeting since the spill.

A delegation representing hundreds of fishing families went to the meeting's venue in east London to voice their concerns as they brought shares in the company to gain access to the meeting.

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