BP’s survival plans

July 6, 2010

BP is still looking at asset sales, but those efforts are being eclipsed now by more exciting prospects of direct investment in the company. Buy ratings are popping up again.

How seriously did people doubt a big oil company’s ability to survive a crisis, even a badly mismanaged one? After all, this oil we’re talking about. Not some revolutionary technology that can be reproduced by anyone with a computer. There’s a heap of value in them thar wells for energy hungry humanity – a whole lot more than there is sympathy for oil-choked wildlife. Note: the tar balls may have kept Independence Day beach-goers away, but don’t think for a moment they didn’t turn on the air conditioning in their RVs when the mercury hit triple digits this weekend.

In asking sovereign wealth funds for money, BP is following in the footsteps of banks. The SWFs’ investments in banks ended up losing big money for the investors, but the funds might feel differently about BP. Energy, after all, is a business that sovereign funds in the Persian Gulf, Singapore, and oil-hungry China know well.

Of course, there would be a whole lot less risk if they just picked up a well kept set of the BP board game Oil Strike!

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