Friday, June 04, 2010

BP investors want dividends rather than paying to clean up oil spill

BP puts containment cap on gushing Gulf well pipe
Anna Driver
Jun 4, 2010

BP began capturing some oil spewing from a 46-day gusher on Friday after installing a containment cap atop a ruptured Gulf of Mexico well as President Barack Obama was set to make his third trip to the area since the disaster.

BP Plc executives sought to reassure jittery investors with a conference call but put off a decision on whether to suspend paying its next quarterly dividend as some U.S. politicians had demanded.

BP shares had been up 4 percent but the gains were pared back in Friday's session after company CEO Tony Hayward issued the statement.

The U.S. Coast Guard said the containment cap placed atop the gusher a mile deep beneath the Gulf's surface was now collecting about 1,000 barrels a day.

The collection rate is a small portion of 19,000 barrels per day that the U.S. government has estimated could be gushing from the well.

The captured amount should increase as BP closes vents to trap more oil, Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen told reporters in a conference call.

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