BP reportedly in talks with Middle East investors
There is speculation that BP is seeking investment from Middle East sovereign wealth funds to help it address its soaring clean-up costs.
BP refused to comment directly on the speculation but the oil giant has become increasingly vulnerable to a takeover following the slump in its share price.
BP’s shares have plunged more than 50% since the oil began to leak into the Gulf of Mexico following an explosion on its Deepwater Horizon rig on 20 April, which took the lives of 11 people.
The explosion led to thousands of barrels of oil leaking from the damaged well.
Today, the company said total clean-up costs relating to the disaster have hit $3.12 billion (£2.05 billion) – up from $2.65 billion last week.
There has been speculation that the oil giant may have to seek extra funds to pay for costs relating to the disaster.
The company has said it “welcomed new investors” and yesterday, the Guardian reported that BP was in talks with the Kuwaiti Investment Authority with regard to raising its 1.75% stake in the company to around 10%.
A source close to the company said that BP was now “talking to a variety of current and potential investors in the Middle East”.
In addition, analysts believe state-backed oil companies such as China’s PetroChina or Kuwait Petroleum could also be interested in investing.
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