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Obama bullies BP into £13.5bn fund for oil spill victims… but British pensioners will pick up the bill

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David Gardner
UK Daily Mail
June 17, 2010

The crisis engulfing BP has plumbed new depths as President Obama bullied the company into depositing £13.5billion into a fund to settle compensation claims for the calamitous Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

After a face-to-face showdown with the President at the White House, BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg revealed the payment meant the oil giant would be forced to suspend dividends to its shareholders until at least next year.

BP shares rallied more than 8 per cent today as the news helped remove some of the uncertainty hanging over the stock following the oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Shares rose 27.8p to 364.8p as analysts said the moves should cool the political heat on BP and provide a degree of comfort to markets.

However yesterday BP shares plunged to a 14-year low of £3.37.

And the news was a major blow for Britain’s pension funds, which rely on BP’s dividend income to provide £1 in every £6 they receive each year.

Since the fatal explosion in April, the value of the company – formerly Britain’s biggest – has halved to £63billion.

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This article was posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 4:38 am

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