Breakingviews

BP has yet to deliver its positive Macondo legacy

April 2, 2012

The Gulf of Mexico disaster prompted soul-searching and a wide-ranging review of BP’s sprawling portfolio. The pledge was to divest low-return assets and focus on its core competence in exploration. But two years on and it’s clear the strategic renewal is proving a long slog.

BP’s path to Macondo settlement just got harder

September 6, 2012

U.S. lawyers say they’ve got emails showing gross negligence in the 2010 oil spill disaster. There’s still scope to settle before a trial, but the aggressive tack complicates BP’s effort to get a favourable deal. The market reaction - wiping $5 bln off BP’s value - looks right.

In too deep: how BP blew it in the Gulf

By Reuters Staff
August 16, 2010

The BP crisis is not yet over – but it has already become a case study in how not to handle a corporate calamity. The pieces in this special ebook provide a running commentary on the saga. We have included articles on BP from before the disaster as well as views on key moments in the crisis as it unfolded.

China on course for a ‘Minamata moment’

July 28, 2010

Two oil spills, very different outcomes. China just finished cleaning up the aftermath of a pipeline explosion that spewed an estimated 1,500 tons of crude oil into the sea of its north-east coast. On the same day, UK oil major BP formally announced the exit of chief Tony Hayward as a result of its catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. BP is shattered, but in China, no heads have rolled.

Cap marks only end of beginning for BP crisis

By Christopher Swann
July 15, 2010

BP's Gulf of Mexico oil disaster knocked Goldman Sachs off the front pages. It's just the UK oil major's luck that its best news in 86 days was overshadowed by Goldman's settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Few will praise BP's speed, but its initial complete capping of the well is a big step forward. Restoring credibility and relations with Uncle Sam will, however, take years.

Drilling deals dive past oil-spill calamity

By Christopher Swann
June 28, 2010

Crisis? What crisis? The oil industry showed no signs on Monday of being cowed by BP's ongoing woes and the resulting Gulf of Mexico drilling freeze. Noble Corp's $4 billion rig rental deal with Royal Dutch Shell and its $2.2 billion all-cash acquisition of Frontier Drilling look like ballsy but not reckless votes of confidence in deepwater exploration.

Anadarko is binary option on BP incompetence

By Christopher Swann
June 21, 2010

Rival oilmen have every reason to cast BP as a rogue. But none more so than Anadarko, its silent partner in the leaking Macondo well. If BP is proven grossly negligent, Anadarko is absolved of liability. If that doesn't happen, it could face crippling costs.

BP’s governance lesson: don’t trust formulas

By Edward Hadas
June 18, 2010

The Gulf of Mexico disaster has wrecked many reputations. BP, President Barack Obama and the whole offshore drilling business are all struggling under the weight of an uncontrolled flow of oil. A key feature of British corporate governance -- a separation of the role of chairman and chief executive -- is also under threat.

BP bigger blow to confidence than euro debt crisis

June 16, 2010

Forget Greece -- the biggest blow to global investor confidence right now lies 5,000 feet below the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

BP’s U.S. political risk goes well beyond rhetoric

By Christopher Swann
June 14, 2010

BP's name is so besmirched in DC that restoring its old Anglo-Iranian Oil Company moniker could hardly worsen things. It's partly political posturing, but there's a real threat too. Venezuelan-style expropriation may be a stretch, but Uncle Sam could still hurt the British oil giant badly.