BP just revealed a very aggressive or desperate move. It has warned Congress not to block new offshore permits if they want BP to have enough money to keep paying claims, NYT reports.The $20 billion escrow fund that was supposed to prevent seems to be safe, but claims and fines may exceed the fund. Past that point, BP gets a lot more bargaining power:
“If we are unable to keep those fields going, that is going to have a substantial impact on our cash flow,” said David Nagle, BP’s executive vice president for BP America, in an interview. That, he added, “makes it harder for us to fund things, fund these programs.”
Post-Deepwater Horizon legislation has mentioned banning BP from new offshore permits for up to 7 years, though such a severe restriction would be unlikely.
That said, a ban would be devastating. BP has named Gulf offshore as its key growth sector.
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