BP shares plummet to 20-month low amid dividend fears
Shares in oil giant BP fell further today after speculation that the company will slash its dividend in order to pay for the Gulf of Mexico disaster.
Prior to the disaster, shares were trading at 648p but are now hovering around the 384p mark – a 20-month low.
Its stock market value is vital for millions of pension savers, accounting for around £1 in every £7 of blue-chip dividend payouts each year.
Meanwhile, its shares fell 5% yesterday after US President Barack Obama launched a verbal attack on BP as it continues to battle to contain the major oil leak.
Tony Hayward, BP chief executive, made an insensitive comment last month after saying “I want my life back”.
His comments came after the explosion on the BP oil rig on 20 April took the lives of 11 people. The explosion led to thousands of barrels of oil leaking from the well.
In an interview with NBC, Mr Obama said: “He wouldn’t be working for me after any of those statements.”
Meanwhile, the oil giant’s attempts to contain the leak appear to be making progress.
A containment cap was lowered over the well last week to siphon off the oil to a containment ship.
Yesterday, BP said it had contained almost 15,000 barrels of oil from the leaking wellhead in the previous 24 hours.
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