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BP dividend suspension: Not whether, but when

Robert Peston | 16:45 UK time, Friday, 11 June 2010

BP's directors will discuss whether to suspend dividend payments at a meeting on Monday, although in an informal sense the decision to make some kind of dividend reduction has already been taken.

In practice, Monday's discussion at newly instituted weekly meetings of the board will be about when to suspend the payments, how long to suspend the payments, and what to do with the billions of dollars that would be saved and not paid to shareholders.

As I've been saying for a couple of days, it looks increasingly likely that dividend payments will be ceased for a period - because of the intense pressure to do so from senior US politicians and the White House.

That said, no formal announcement on the dividend is expected to be made on Monday.

Instead the BP board will prepare the ground for negotiations on what it should and can do about the dividend that are expected to take place on Wednesday with President Obama and other senior members of his team.

"There's no point announcing what we'll do about the dividend until we've heard the view of the administration on this", said a senior BP source.

BP's chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, will lead the BP delegation at the meeting, but the chief executive, Tony Hayward, and the executive in charge of the company's response to the rig disaster, Bob Dudley, will also be present.

Update 1715: There's no point making an implacable enemy of the most powerful man on earth.

Obvious to most of us, I suppose.

But it has taken a while for BP's board to reach the decision that if President Obama wants them to stop paying dividends, then for a while at least they'd better do so.

That said the when, how and how long of suspending dividend payments won't be fixed till a board discussion on Monday, followed by negotiation with the president himself on Wednesday.

Even so, it is certain that BP will cease paying the £1.8bn of dividends per quarter that it's been delivering to shareholders - until it can quantify the final massive bill for the Gulf of Mexico oil debacle and prove to the White House that it can afford those enormous costs.

Even if those costs of clearing up the mess, fines and compensation exceed £20bn, as analysts expect, BP feels it has the resources to cope.

Its biggest fear, which its chairman will express to the president, is that the US administration's campaign against it could throw the baby out with the oily bathwater - in that a bankrupt BP would leave the president with no-one to clean up America's worst-ever environmental disaster.

Update 2019: For what it's worth, a BP spokesman tells me that he doesn't expect any announcement on the dividend next week - which is not what I was being told by BP sources earlier.

The official position is as follows.

The board will discuss the dividend on Monday. And it will discuss the dividend with President Obama on Wednesday.

But the company does not expect to make any statement on the dividend next week.

And as of now, the board does not expect to make a formal decision on the dividend until nearer the time of its quarterly results in July.

We'll see what happens next week.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    As I said in a previous post:

    Dave learns to do the poodle

    This is the 51st State of the USA

  • Comment number 2.

    Would be surprising but the right thing to do.

  • Comment number 3.

    Hmm. I thought the dividend could be maintained. Look look like a buy to me.

  • Comment number 4.

    Agree entirely with your comment Robert:
    "Its biggest fear, which its chairman will express to the president, is that the US administration's campaign against it could throw the baby out with the oily bathwater - in that a bankrupt BP would leave the president with no-one to clean up America's worst-ever environmental disaster."
    The problem is that the macho attitude exhibited by Obama towards BP in the past week, suggests that Hayward is not the only one capable of putting his foot in it with public statements. Obama needs to recognise that if he plays to the gallery of US voters without a care for the impact of his words on the market valuation of BP shares, then he will end up looking an even greater fool than his predecessor's infamous "Mission Accomplished" boast. That's going some.

  • Comment number 5.

    It would be politic to delay the dividend.

    Looks like dearer oil and as a consequence no quick recovery.


    The politicians keep talking about Growth. There can be no more groth. The planet is exhausted of fuel, food, water and room.

    They should be talking about serious birth control.

  • Comment number 6.

    So let me understand your point, DevilIsInTheDetails:

    Because BP is a British company, and although the majority of the environmental damage from BP's negligence is in the US and effecting US citizens, David Cameron should give two fingers up to the US and tell BP not to pay? What if the blowout and the environmental damage had happend in the North Sea then - let Scotland pay?

    How exactly is Cameron telling a British business to act responsibly towards their responsibilities to clean up the environment translated into Britain (and Cameron) behaving like a poodle or Great Britain being the 51st State?

  • Comment number 7.

    Seems to me BP should suspend dividends to all (US) shreholders!!!!

    Just as the President asks!!!!

    Then after all this is over it seems a change of name would be in order to say 'Baltimore Petroleum' (or some other version of the letters BP, but with a US based suggestion) or perhaps 'Beltway Petroleum'!!!!

  • Comment number 8.

    Mr Obama has spoken on behalf of americans, saying BP shouldn't pay a dividend.

    So it's simple - BP shouldn't pay dividends... to *americans*. Put the money that would have gone to US investors into a clean-up fund instead.

  • Comment number 9.

    I think that the board of BP can suspend the dividend payment, BUT, the question needs to be asked will Obama be pressing Transocean to suspend their dividend payment as well?

    Obama has been putting his foot where his mouth is and if he doesn't want to turn this into an economic disaster as well, needs to start playing equal with all the corporates involved in this environmental disaster.

  • Comment number 10.

    Robert
    What about the rig operators, equipment providers and regulators - what about their accounatbiliy?
    I would have though that BP Shareholders have grounds for an action to recover losses against the US governement for its regulatory failures - along the lines of Equitable Life. Obama, himself, has already laid the case.
    Kind regards

  • Comment number 11.

    6. At 5:56pm on 11 Jun 2010, Cullen wrote:
    So let me understand your point, DevilIsInTheDetails

    Let me spell it out Cullen.
    1) This is a political decision (Phone call to BP Chairman)
    2) The Amercian Administration has no right to block legitimate dividends of a British company.

    I will expand if you like but you can find my views in the previous 2 threads if you are interested.

    Your questions are a bit odd "not to pay" ? I'm saying the company should decide if it pays dividends or not, not DC not Obama.

    Re the same scenario in the UK. I would have more faith in the Govt overseeing emergency planning and in the UK subcontractors.
    Quite clearly the US Gobt has little regard for that region of its country and is only interested in the green stuff

  • Comment number 12.

    And the BP chairman ought to be making it perfectly clear to Obama: you, the US, will have to pay more for oil in the future as a result, as oil companies shy away from taking risk. Your citizens will pay the price for this as it is they that depend on the oil extracted from the gulf. And meanwhile Iran, the middle east, Venezuela etc. will profit handsomely from Obama's shortsighted populist policies.

    Oh and meanwhile Obummer has lost whatever friends he had this side of the atlantic with his anti-British tantrums.

  • Comment number 13.

    Agree with 4; Obama's involvement in this mess has been immature and completely lacking in leadership.

    Everyone is concerned about the environmental and economic damage especially to those whose daily living has been affected.

    But - this episode should really be focusing the US mindset on climate change measures, and the need to reduce US per capita energy consumption. USA needs to get real and stop behaving as if the planet is USA and the Rest of the World. Perhaps David Cameron could introduce President Obama to the concept of 'we're all in this together'.

    With regard to the BP dividend this should be determined on normal commercial criteria. As a general rule it is better for politicians to stay out of running companies.

  • Comment number 14.

    # 6. At 5:56pm on 11 Jun 2010, Cullen wrote:
    So let me understand your point, DevilIsInTheDetails:

    Because BP is a British company, and although the majority of the environmental damage from BP's negligence is in the US and effecting US citizens, David Cameron should give two fingers up to the US and tell BP not to pay? What if the blowout and the environmental damage had happend in the North Sea then - let Scotland pay?
    _______________________________________________________________________________

    Well Cullen, let's think back a bit when Occidental had an oil rig blow up on them in 1988 and 167 men died...err yes, the British people ended up clearing that one up. Did we harp on about negligence before the preliminary reports were out...no, but hey that's just us I suppose...Innocent until proven guilty.

    But, what about the negligence of Transocean & Halliburton?? Where's that mentioned AT ALL by anyone stateside?? NO, Transocean (THE OPERATORS OF THE RIG) who are trying to limited their liability down from $75m to $27m are going to issue a $1bn dividend in the US...who's trying to stop that one??

    No-one is saying BP shouldn't accept the majority of the responsibility here...BUT, the crazy thing is THEY HAVE and they haven't said they won't pay up...they said the complete opposite, but they're still being pilloried...that's what's upsetting us Brits.

  • Comment number 15.

    BP can't possibly be a British company.

    After all, it invests considerably more in American R&D than it does here and as the Deepwater Horizon drilling programme showed, it uses mostly American contractors.

    Surely no genuinely British company would behave like this would it?

  • Comment number 16.

    To be on the safe side, I'd suggest BP stuff the money in Hayward's mattress.

  • Comment number 17.

    Seems to me that Obama has brought forward (or should that be put back?) peak oil by 5 years at least - by making deep-water oil-extraction an uninsurable risk.

  • Comment number 18.

    All I can see is that if any American company working on British soil has an accident that even kills a pussy cat then we should treat them with the same contempt that the US has treated BP.

    Can Robert confirm that all other companies involved in the disaster have already agreed to suspend their dividends.

    In the mean time maybe the UK govt should ensure that any American company drilling for oil in UK territory is subject to extra safety inspections and told that they will not be awarded any further licences ever.

  • Comment number 19.

    If the US decide to sieze BP's US assets so they can give them to Exxon and Chevron then maybe the UK and EU should think about siezing American assets over here. Exxon (Esso) , Chevron, Proctor & Gamble, Colgate, Kraft and GM's. Maybe then US lawmakers will think twice before they open their mouths. Hurt them where it matters on their bottom line.
    Also, maybe take back Man U and Liverpool.

  • Comment number 20.

    Transocean had BOP 'issue' on India rig

    use the link:
    http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/article214256.ece

    Don;t remember seeing this in the news! BBC?

  • Comment number 21.

    How angry is Obama about the Bhopal Gas Tragedy caused by an American Company? 25 years on, the area still remains contaminated with locals still giving birth to deformed children. Most of the victims remain uncompensated while others have received derisory settlements.

  • Comment number 22.

    BP is owned 40% by American citizens. So BP should change its name immediately to Anglo-American Petroleum. This name would reflect the shareholder facts. A-AP. The USA has much to blame itself for this tragedy. After all President Bush encouraged the drilling of deep water wells in the Gulf of Mexico. The regulations were very lax because he was in the pay of Petroleum, which after all is how much of his wealth emanated from. Global Warming in the rest of the World was hurt by his refusal to listen to others. How many other drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico are posing risks similar to that of this unit? 40% of the American investors will be hurt by the President's determination to have BP pay the price. He who has not sinned must therefore caste the first stone. Stopping BP paying a dividend will reduce the ability of BP to step up to the plate in this situation. Very shortsighted............

  • Comment number 23.

    Holding BP in contempt? Absolutely. BP lowballed the amount of oil coming out by nearly half. BP has prevented access to public beaches in Louisianna and Alabama to prevent media and photographers from seeing the damage. BP has tried 3 more-risky but cheaper alternative plans to cap the well before trying one that actually had a chance of success. BP failed to adequately plan for the risk of a deepwater blowout and instead gamed the (admittedly corrupt) system in the US to get even more deepwater leases, also with no adequate risk plan. But don't worry - BP's disaster plan adequately ensures that walruses and polar bears in the Gulf of Mexico are not at risk at all.

    We want BP to pay for the cleanup before they pay their investors for one simple reason - we don't trust BP to continue to pay to clean up because of their irresponsible behavior before the blowout, much of which is just coming to light now.

    But the most important thing here is let's all make sure that BP's investors and stockholders get the rewards for this behavior. And let's all blame the Americans for trying to make sure that the company that reaped the lion's share of the profits also pays to clean up the mess.

    Why shouldn't investors feel the pain from BP's antics? Because they're British? You invest your money in a petroleum company, you take your chances. They might strike oil, or they might have a massive fire. You take the risks along with the rewards or don't bother to play.

  • Comment number 24.

    The Founding Fathers anticipated a charlatan and popinjay becoming President, e.g. Obama.

    The Constitution is very clear "...nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation".

    Seems that all of Obama's grand-standing about seizing BP from its owners on his say-so flies smack-bang into the Fifth Amendment. Him being as lawyer and all, you'd think he'd know that...

  • Comment number 25.

    23. At 7:29pm on 11 Jun 2010, Cullen wrote:

    Holding BP in contempt? Absolutely. BP lowballed the amount of oil coming out by nearly half...


    See link at #20...
    Upstream wrote on 6th May:
    "Meanwhile, reports are emerging that BP officials told congressional representatives the spill could grow at a rate more than 10 times current estimates in a worst-case scenario."

    Calm down everyone. It'll get sorted.

  • Comment number 26.

    We have a Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Commonwealth nations India and Nigeria have very serious environmental issues caused by US companies, namely, Bhopal in India, and the Niger Delta, most recently see http://saharareporters.com/real-news/sr-headlines/6244-exxonmobil-oil-spill-in-niger-delta-exposes-nigerians-to-poisoned-fish.html.

    Would it be not be reasonable for the Commonwealth Secretariat and or the FCO to raise these issues with the US?

    Fairs fair, and the US need to show the world that they and their companies fully face their responsibilities.

    As those leading environmentally aware companies Transocean and Haliburton have done in this episode (not).

    I also recommend an article in New Scientist “Gulf leak: biggest spill may not be biggest disaster” see http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19016-gulf-leak-biggest-spill-may-not-be-biggest-disaster.html

  • Comment number 27.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 28.

    Ref comment 23. Sorry, but I do not consider that BP has any responsibility whatsoever for this incident. The rig was owned & operated by Transocean and the Blow out preventer was manufactured by Halliburton, these two companies are the guilty parties. In my opinion BP has been naive in accepting responsibility. It should have washed its hands of the whole affair and told Obama & the Senate to take a hike from the start. Now it appears that BP investors are going to have to forego their dividends for something which is none of their doing, it's absolutely outrageous.

  • Comment number 29.

    Furthermore, Americans have not been a 'colony' for two centuries. We won that war, lest you Brits forget.

    You act as if you can tell us when, what and how to speak. No, we won that war, too.

    Britain no longer rules the waves, and you sure enough no longer rule the United States of America!

  • Comment number 30.

    13. At 6:32pm on 11 Jun 2010, ARHReading wrote:
    Agree with 4; Obama's involvement in this mess has been immature and completely lacking in leadership.

    ----------------------------------
    I don't agree. I think President Obama is 'grandstanding' - playing to the gallery. It shuts up the grumblers in the enviro wing of the Democrats and it makes him look patriotic to the wildest of wild Republicans. Short term huff'n'puff in a long term situation.

    He needs to be careful though. He could create collateral damage in the medium term that will harm him and the Democrats electorally and the US as a whole, economically and in energy security. He may also create a rod for America's back internationally. I think he's bright enough to work out a game plan on it.

    Well, I hope he is. But then politicians have disappointed me before.

    Let's EVERYONE be careful, out there today

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    BrazilWatcher (#28) "Ref comment 23. Sorry, but I do not consider that BP has any responsibility whatsoever for this incident."

    Wrong. This is not a matter of opinion, but of legal fact. You should read the Oil Pollution Act, to which I linked in the previous thread (post #326, I think). BP as the leaseholder for oil development on the site is the "responsible party."

  • Comment number 33.

    It doesn't take a genuis to work it, the entire system is broken.....Austerity?

    Robert,

    It's time some of you Journos woke up and smelled the coffee, remember the 1930's?

    A picnic!

  • Comment number 34.

    29. At 8:01pm on 11 Jun 2010, Barbara wrote:
    Furthermore, Americans have not been a 'colony' for two centuries. We won that war, lest you Brits forget.

    You act as if you can tell us when, what and how to speak. No, we won that war, too.

    Britain no longer rules the waves, and you sure enough no longer rule the United States of America!
    America has gained dreadful international reputations under Bush, and if you don't realise that you are being somewhat naive



    If only America had not launched the illegal war on Iraq, and if only Blair had not been Bush's poodle, and if only the US had forced Israel to treat the Palestinians with some respect, then the world would be safer and fairer

    Your chip on the shoulder attitude reflects the arrogance that has made the US unpopular since Bush

    All of the good will created in Gulf War 1 was ruined by Bush JR...the alcoholic and draft dodger

    You know the one

  • Comment number 35.

    DevilsintheDetail (#1) "This is the 51st State of the USA."

    No, your status is more akin to Puerto Rico.

  • Comment number 36.

    I still think BP are a good buy, and when the full story is told, there will be counter actions against Halliburton and also Transocean

    Some Americans posting on here, seem to think they can treat us like they treat the Mexicans

  • Comment number 37.

    Some of the comments here are asinine. Suspending dividends is a common sense move given the growing concern here in the US that BP, who has already accepted responsibility for the damages caused and being caused, will have the cash available to pay claims, continue damage control efforts and increase efforts to stop further oil from coming ashore in additional communities. BP knows it is responsible and has said so, repeatedly. Do you think the CEO made those comments to Congress and all over the news without knowing full well it was true? Here is an idea, plug the damn well first, then pay your dividends.
    Obama has not said he will seize BP assets or freeze accounts held in the US. He has the right to do that and the US Congress will absolutely back him up on it. Does BP really want to get into a pissing contest with the US Government?
    US sentiment is not anti-UK, or anti-British, it's anti-BP. Plain and simply. Threats of retaliation against US companies is silly, counter-productive and might start a serious rift in US-UK relations. Nobody over here is talking about boycotting UK products, just BP. You want a trade war with the US? Good luck with that. BP tries to pay a dividend and withhold money only from US shareholders and the gloves will come off. Don't slap the 900 lb gorilla in the face unless your ready to face the consequinces of a very mad gorilla.
    Everybody needs to calm down and think instead of increasing the rhetoric. The good news is that BP may actually have the resources to pay for most of this. Transocean and Halliburton aren't going to get away free and clear if they caused part of this.
    The initial reports from the rig witnesses, which are being carried in US papers, indicate BP called the shots and ordered the measures that blew the rig. Are your papers carrying the excerps from the statements? Pretty damning stuff and it is really making people mad over here. It's too early to know exactly what happened, but talk here on the Gulf Coast is that BP tooks lots of risks and it blew up in their face. Here's an excerpt:

    COVINGTON, La. — Senior managers complained oil giant BP was “taking shortcuts” by replacing heavy drilling fluid with saltwater in the well that blew out, triggering the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to witness statements obtained by The Associated Press.


    Truitt Crawford, a roustabout for drilling rig owner Transocean Ltd., told Coast Guard investigators about the complaints. The seawater, which would have provided less weight to contain surging pressure from the ocean depths, was being used to prepare for dropping a final blob of cement into the well.

    “I overheard upper management talking saying that BP was taking shortcuts by displacing the well with saltwater instead of mud without sealing the well with cement plugs, this is why it blew out,” Crawford said in his statement.

    Nobody here is the US is trying to defend Halliburton or Transocean because they are US companies, why do some of you feel like you need to defend BP just because it's British? Whoever is responsible needs to make it right, regardless of what it costs them.

  • Comment number 38.

    35. At 8:19pm on 11 Jun 2010, GH1618 wrote:
    DevilsintheDetail (#1) "This is the 51st State of the USA."

    No, your status is more akin to Puerto Rico.

    No doubt you would go into the Puerto Rican quarter in NYC and say that?

    Ot the East End of London?

    I doubt it...

  • Comment number 39.

    Honestly, I'm not seeing this anti-British rhetoric people are talking about. Not in the press coverage here, and not even in Obama's rantings. What I see is just his normal political opportunism, colored by his an anti-business, anti-corporate populism. Add in the particular contempt he and his support base have for the oil industry, and you could expect nothing less. The fact is that only BP and technical experts in the oil industry can solve the crisis, so all Obama can do is act tough and ensure BP is held accountable. Does anyone really think he would behave differently had it been Exxon that caused the disaster?

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    34. At 8:19pm on 11 Jun 2010, Kevin

    I agree, Tony 'the poodle' Blair couldn't have become a stateman to America if only he'd had a spine and spoke up. Democrats voted to go after Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan - the honorable war - Bush diverted resources to the phony war. That's not news to any Democrat. We hate him so much that we'd rather forget that he existed. Indeed, Democrats are left to clean up Republican messes everytime.

    But that's neither here nor there.

    If you want to go tit for tat; those with a love of history won't soon forget the Slave Trade of the Americas and the Opium Wars of China when your were the British Empire.

    Don't go there, Brit. Your true, uncensored history should make you weep.

  • Comment number 42.

    Excerpt from another AP article:

    At the hearing in New Orleans on Wednesday, Douglas Brown, the Deepwater Horizon's chief mechanic, testified about what he described as a "skirmish" between someone he called the "company man" -- a BP official -- and three other employees during a meeting the day of the explosion.

    Brown said he didn't pay particular attention to what they were discussing because it did not involve his engine room duties. He later said he did not know the BP official's name.

    "The driller outlined what would be taking place, but the company man stood up and said 'We'll be having some changes to that,'" Brown testified. He said the three other workers initially disagreed but "the company man said 'This is how it's going to be.'"

    These aren't hard to find online. Go read the articles and tell people over here that BP should have the right to do whatever it wants.

  • Comment number 43.

    One wonders if this kind of thing had been caused by an American company in England, what would have been the reaction of UK government towards lets say, Halliburton. Again one can just wonder. BP is not just a private company, as American government is well aware of. BP is a national asset for UK and is vital for British interests. With so much technological and financial investment by British society into it, BP is tied to the core of highest national interests. Since its inception in 1908, every war UK has fought BP was a part of it. BP was the company providing the fuel and energy for every unit of British military during both world war I and II. Lets not forget if UK is still a free country it is because BP played its part excellently, otherwise UK would have been today a part of Hitler's Reich. Even today it is paying for the pensions of millions of Brits who literally have put their life savings into it and its associated industrial base which goes far beyond the perimeters of BP.
    Again one has to wonder, while American banks and companies were going down the drain a year ago, the same Mr. Obama forced the whole of the world to pay the bill and save American companies which had irresponsibly wrecked millions of lives around the globe. One wonders, when the USA president shamelessly takes UK into an unnecessary war whose costs in financial terms and human life has been greater than a thousand gulf oil spills, the Brits never even complained to Americans over their disaster. Now shamelessly the American president "is looking for a BP ass to kick". Some body should tell the American president that the world is tired of American hypocrisy and double standards, because British government does not have the spine to tell it to Americans. One wonders what happened to that empire upon which the sun never sat. More and more the UK government is looking more like a third world client state serving the American interests obediently while sacrificing its own interests on the way. BP is a private company and the spill is bad and horrendous but Americans should remember that BP was operating under the current laws and regulations, which bind BP to no more than 75 million dollars in damages. And that is by law of United States. If BP is paying more than that today out of the pension funds of Brits, it is because of arm twisting. Otherwise BP is no more responsible for the oil spill than the American company which was actually running the rig for the BP.

  • Comment number 44.

    37

    The B in BP stands for Beyond, not British

    IF the deep drilling is so dangerous, then don't do it

    Bush already created a serious rift in UK/US relations, and most of the people I know are disgusted at the comments made by Obama

    BP could have said our liability is $75M and we will not be paying a cent more

    You ask, does BP want to get in a pissing contest with the US?

    Well, let me tell you that BP is more solvent than the US

    You state that it is too early to make judgements, then cut and paste biased accounts!!!!

    Frankly, BP have to be partly to blame, yet Halliburton (who stink) and Transocean must have some culpability as well

    I am not going to accept the comments from some of your fellow citizens without responding, least of all, when Bush has been the biggest threat to world peace in the last 1000 years

    If you are that bothered about the environment (and I do not suggest this is not a horrible incident) then sign the Kyoto agreement and provide leadership to the world, instead of bullying, and helping Israel to bully Palestinians with an illegal blockade(collective punishment is against the Geneva convention)

    Rendition

    There is so much that the US has done recently, that many in the UK find distasteful, and wrong

    Try apologising for al that, then we might take you a bit more seriously

  • Comment number 45.

    @Zeen, Comment No. 39:

    Yes, it would have been different. If Exxon was involved, the USA government would have taken up the cleanup operation and would have paid everything by itself, declaring it a national emergency. Did not the US government spent over trillion dollars to save their other industries a few months back? Why do you think Exxon would have been any different. The US government knows by politically pushing BP, they are killing it. One wonders again who is behind this murder plan. BP had abided by all the regulations in place that means it was not the fault of BP at all. Furthermore the liability on BP had a ceiling of 75 million dollars max according to the laws of US. Either we have to work by the laws or by the no law of jungle. US seems to be preferring the second option here for British Company. More disastrous things have happened around the world by American companies, but US government never kicked the ass of any of those companies. What amazes me is that America is increasing behaving like a dictator with respect to the rest of the world. Take 911 for example. 3000 were killed in America and US went on a killing spree which is continuing till date and estimates show that more than three million humans have been killed in that spree. Is that fair is another question, but the point here is that, US is not treating non-Americans the same as Americans.

  • Comment number 46.

    The US of A is truly showing itself to be the US of H. Big capital H for Hypocrisy.
    There is no mention of any dividends or monies to be put aside from the US companies involved in the Deepwater disaster. Just because legally BP have taken responsibilty, does not mean they are off the hook and not culpable.
    By Obama's definition of responsibility then Apple are responsible for the deaths at their subcontractors factories in China.
    I trust that Obama will now extradite the former Chairman and CEO of Union Carbide, Warren Anderson, to face the Bhopal charges in India?

  • Comment number 47.

    Do the USA realise that hitting BP with punitive damages might reduce the BP share price to such a large extent that they may be a take-over target.
    So far so good, but the only company likely to have sufficient resources to be able to manage a take-over is Petrochina.
    Then just what would the US do if a very large percentage of the free market supply of oil was controlled by China....? They may not be able to step in and prevent this happening, afterall BP is apparently not a US company.
    Think on...

  • Comment number 48.

    41. At 8:36pm on 11 Jun 2010, Barbara wrote:
    34. At 8:19pm on 11 Jun 2010, Kevin

    I agree, Tony 'the poodle' Blair couldn't have become a stateman to America if only he'd had a spine and spoke up. Democrats voted to go after Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan - the honorable war - Bush diverted resources to the phony war. That's not news to any Democrat. We hate him so much that we'd rather forget that he existed. Indeed, Democrats are left to clean up Republican messes everytime.

    But that's neither here nor there.

    If you want to go tit for tat; those with a love of history won't soon forget the Slave Trade of the Americas and the Opium Wars of China when your were the British Empire.

    Don't go there, Brit. Your true, uncensored history should make you weep.

    I am English, thank you, and more than aware of my own country's history, for example the Concentration Camps in the Boer War

    Maybe you can tell me more about the murder and destruction of the indigenous people of the country now called America, and also how you treat the Mexicans?

    Also, about depleted uranium shells in Iraq, and maybe rendition, and there are more

    You want tit for tat?

    You got it any time

  • Comment number 49.

    41

    By the way, the slave trade still goes on, and it was abolished by the UK in 1807

    In the USA it was not abolished until 1865

    Even in the 1960s appartheid existed in the Deep South, and even now, the sub-prime crisis was indirectly caused by the redlining and demarkation within Chicago

    So I can do US history or UK,

  • Comment number 50.

    KevinB (#44) "BP could have said our liability is $75M and we will not be paying a cent more."

    This is not correct. BP is responsible for the entire cost of capping the well and cleaning up the oil. The $75 million liability cap applies to injuries beyond the cleanup, such as damage to private businesses. However the liability cap does not apply if it is found that there was "gross negligence" or if safety rules were not followed. The investigation of the accident is just beginning. It remains to be determined what the legal liability of BP will be.

  • Comment number 51.

    UNION CARBIDE Amerifolks? 20000 dead. At least the leadership at BP can be found and called to account, reather than hiding at home!

  • Comment number 52.

    @44
    What does George Bush have to do with this oil disaster? Nothing. Where is the link? It's just an anti-US whine. You are just proving my point with your rhetoric.
    You can dislike the US all you want, frankly we don't care. Thankfully your government is smarter than you are.
    I don't hold the UK Gov't responsible for the actions of BP, nobody over here does. Why do you think the US is responsible for every else actions? It's childish and silly. Your mad at Isreal's botched raid so you rant at the US? Seriously, what's the link there? Grow up.
    US didn't sign off on Kyoto so your angry? What does that have to do with the BP oil disaster? Again, where is the link? Grow up.
    Your anti-US rant is childish but makes very clear your bias.
    BP is more solvent that the US? Go ask an economist about that. Obviously you are clueless.
    You don't like Obama's comments? Fine, your entitled to your opinion. I doubt he is going to lose any sleep. I bet the CEO of BP isn't sleeping too well however.
    I am amazed that UK citizens think they need to defend BP. Why? Again, nobody over here thinks they need to defend Halliburton or Transocean just because they are US companies. Try to wrap you mind around reality and get away from the nationalistic garbage. Whoever is responsible is going to have to pay, one way or the other. If it turns out BP is only partly responsible, then that's all they will have to pay. If I were a betting man, however, I would bet they are found the most culpable.
    The comments from the witness statements make it pretty clear BP isn't going to get away from this. It's funny people who have no idea what happened are trying to exonerate BP in the face of an admission from the CEO they are at fault and overwhelming evidence coming out from eyewitnesses they screwed up.
    Your crying because their stock price dropped? Go whine to the people losing their jobs, the people watching oil wash up on the beaches and killing all the wildlife, the crew members families who lost loved ones because of greed. Why exactly were they pumping seawater, instead of drilling mud, into the well? There is only one answer to that.
    BP will weather the storm and their stock will eventually go back up. Valdez didn't kill Exxon, this won't kill BP. If they are getting their feelings hurt, tough.

  • Comment number 53.

    44. At 8:42pm on 11 Jun 2010, Kevinb wrote:
    37

    BP could have said our liability is $75M and we will not be paying a cent more

    Not so. Do you need a link or will you take my word for it?

  • Comment number 54.

    SeperAlien3 (#45) "Yes, it would have been different. If Exxon was involved, the USA government would have taken up the cleanup operation and would have paid everything by itself, declaring it a national emergency."

    This is fiction. In fact, when Exxon spilled oil from a tanker into Prince William Sound in Alaska, Exxon was held accountable for $2.5 billion in cleanup costs, $1.1 billion in damages, and half a billion in punitive damages (originally $5 billion, but reduced on appeal).

    Since the Exxon Valdez spill Exxon has improved its safety standards greatly, and it is now the safest oil company operating in the US, by OSHA statistics.

  • Comment number 55.

    @ Superalien
    Are you seriously going to blame the US for the UK going into Iraq? So, what your saying is that the US ordered the UK to go and you had to do it? I thought the UK made the decision to go into Iraq. Don't you folks have a PM and a Parliament? Guess I was wrong. When did the UK become the 51st state?
    With regard to BP not being responsible, you simply don't know the facts yet. Read the statements, listen to the Congressional testimony and then make comments. Again, you think the BP CEO agreed to take responsibility for this because he was "being nice"? BP knows exactly what they did. People on this board are defending BP when BP isn't trying to defend itself. WHO KNOWS WHAT HAPPENED? You or BP? Wake up.

  • Comment number 56.

    Now the plot thickens....

    Like the attacks by Al Qaeda, the disaster in the Gulf was preceded by ample warnings – yet the administration had ignored them. Instead of cracking down on MMS, as he had vowed to do even before taking office, Obama left in place many of the top officials who oversaw the agency's culture of corruption. He permitted it to rubber-stamp dangerous drilling operations by BP – a firm with the worst safety record of any oil company – with virtually no environmental safeguards, using industry-friendly regulations drafted during the Bush years. He calibrated his response to the Gulf spill based on flawed and misleading estimates from BP – and then deployed his top aides to lowball the flow rate at a laughable 5,000 barrels a day, long after the best science made clear this catastrophe would eclipse the Exxon Valdez.
    From Tim Dickinson Writing in the Rolling Stone; The Spill, The Scandal and the President.
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/111965

    No doubt the sea water is thicker too.

  • Comment number 57.

    Everyone needs to calm down. There is a way around this to keep everyone happy and completly jam up the White House mail system.

    1. BP announce non payment of the second quarter dividend. The White House and Senate and overjoyed.

    2. A shareholder applies to the BP registrar over the financial loss they have sufferred and asks for compensation for loss of their dividend payment as it is a direct effect of the GoM blowout. Each shareholder should naturally send a copy of their application for compensation to the White House as they are so worried about how fast these compensation payments are being made.

    3. BP agree this is a legitimate claim and pay you for your economic loss to a value directly equivalent of your dividend.

    4. BP claim the tax back off the US government.

    Its a winner: everyone that therefore feels that they should have a dividend and applies for it gets one. Those that feel BP should not pay a dividend don't need to apply for compensation. And the White House mail room is brought to a total stand still.

  • Comment number 58.

    52

    Right wing nutjob

    Very apt name

    What has Bush got to do with it?

    Are you really so unaware of what is going on in the US of A?

    It was Bush that was so keen to have deep sea drilling in the Gulf of Mexico....

    Halliburton...no links there with Bush and Cheney.....the illegal war in Iraq...nothing to do with oil?

    What planet are you on

    I am not prejudiced, I am sick to death of the US saying one thing and doing another...all of a sudden the environment matters, well it didn't in Kyoto

    The US is technically bankrupt...I don't believe BP are...go ask an economist, but make sue it is not Krugman, he is a plank

    So, no deep sea drilling without Bush

    HAVE YOU GOT THE LINK YET



  • Comment number 59.

    55. At 9:22pm on 11 Jun 2010, rightwingnutjob wrote:
    @ Superalien
    Are you seriously going to blame the US for the UK going into Iraq? So, what your saying is that the US ordered the UK to go and you had to do it? I thought the UK made the decision to go into Iraq. Don't you folks have a PM and a Parliament? Guess I was wrong. When did the UK become the 51st state?
    With regard to BP not being responsible, you simply don't know the facts yet. Read the statements, listen to the Congressional testimony and then make comments. Again, you think the BP CEO agreed to take responsibility for this because he was "being nice"? BP knows exactly what they did. People on this board are defending BP when BP isn't trying to defend itself. WHO KNOWS WHAT HAPPENED? You or BP? Wake up.

    Blair deceived our parliament and was in the Bush gang with Cheney

    Pathetic

  • Comment number 60.

    @GH1618 Comment No.54:

    That is a lie you wrote there. The disaster you referred to was not this size, neither USA government at the time started to hammer it politically so that Exxon's value drop to a third. If Exxon had caused this I am sure USA would have saved it no matter what. US president would be saying something like this: Exxon is an important national asset for USA and we have to save it. Since Gulf disaster is big I am sure if BP is to pay for all the costs, there is no doubt that BP will go under. USA never let GM to go under why do you think they would have let Exxon to be any different? Also all the money Exxon had paid the USA government subsidized it later for them in tax breaks. Be fair. Do not be a hypocrite. Will USA issue tax breaks to BP, or will USA push BP to bankruptcy and eventual nationalization by US government and its assets transferred to Exxon? And one thing more when will Union Carbide ass be kicked by Obama since Indians are waiting for compensation and environmental clean up since 25 years with more than 25 thousand dead?

  • Comment number 61.

    57

    It is simpler than that

    BP will pay a larger dividend later

  • Comment number 62.

    As a Briton living and working in the USA, I'd like to chime in and say that the sabre rattling going on in some circles (including this comment thread) has very little reflection on the generally respectful and warm relations between the millions of individual Britons and Americans who actually interact professionally and socially.

    Those people who are getting hot under the collar and angry and making nationalist generalizations are really just succumbing to the shallow desire for a scapegoat. Whether your scapegoat is BP or the US government doesn't really matter, eventually the difference will be how all of us view gasoline / petroleum at the pump. One generalization I will make is that Americans will have more change to accept here than Britons over the coming decade, because the British are already use to expensive oil whereas the American government largely subsidizes its domestic consumption.

  • Comment number 63.

    @rightwingnutjob, Comment No. 52:

    Has not American government and taxpayers defending United Fruit Company of Cuba for the last century? Come on, you have killed millions of humans defending it. You almost went to a nuclear war defending it. It seems Americans have such a short memory. Their definition of history is of those events which have happened in the past three months. British soldiers have died in your useless wars. Have some respect towards their pension atleast if you do not have any respect for themselves. Since the children of those dead soldiers defending your marines really need those pensions to go to school and buy food and clothes. You see, they do not have a father anymore. Their father died defending you Americans.

  • Comment number 64.

    SuperAlien3 (#60) "That is a lie you wrote there."

    I beg your pardon. The figures I reported are facts which can readily be looked up on the web. The Exxon Valdez incident was indeed smaller than the current BP well blowout incident, as you state. This incident is now the largest oil spill (or spew) incident in US history.

    As for all your hypotheticals, they are mere speculation. I am not interested in speculation here, only in facts.

  • Comment number 65.

    @KevinB Message 58.

    Nothing to do with Bush.
    Chris Oynes was put in charge of the GoM region of the MMS under Clinton. Secondarily at the end of the Clinton period the MMS rules had not been touched for almost the entire period of his Presidency. Indeed in trying to get the MMS to make one MUCH stricter, the feedback was that the would place an unfair financial burden on the oil companies: that was under Clinton.
    Under Bush the majority of Notices to Lessees (the rules the industry works to) were tightened significantly: many of them to do with the environment.
    So unless you actually know what you are talking about, and have direct experience of the rules the industry works under, I would keep quiet.
    Feel sorry for the MMS. They pay their staff pennies and they are then supposed to recruit top quality staff to manage this highly technical industry.
    Lastly I would love to hear just how many other US government departments have had similar bribery scandals to the "few" found in the MMS that allows the lie to be made that they are in such a "cozy" relationship with the industry.

  • Comment number 66.

    64

    OK then....

    FACT Bush wanted deep sea driling
    FACT BP had approval to drill
    FACT IF BP are in the wrong then I imagine Halliburton and Transocean are too

  • Comment number 67.

    @GH1618 Comment No. 64:

    That was so shameful what you wrote there.
    25,000 DEAD Indians are speculative hypotheticals? I am sure you do not hold the same view for some 2000 white Americans who died in 911 out of the so 3000? Do you?

  • Comment number 68.

    I would like to thank BP for the lost of my job now I can no longer pay my bills because i do not work in the oil fields or work on the water I am not covered under any this BP help. I worked in a Restaurant no one is coming to the Gulf so I am no longer needed. they are going to close the store. I hope you starve TOO. I will be losing my home thanks again BP.

  • Comment number 69.

    Those on here berating Obama need to understand the polital realities in Amaerica, where many thousands of livelihoods on the southern coast have been destroyed.

    If an American company had similarly grossly polluted our Hampshire coastline, I can imagine these same people urging Cameron to take tougher action.

    It seems that such deep drilling may be beyond the competence of the oil comppanies. To do so withour proper contingency plans in the event of failure was reckless.

    BP is the parent company and has responsibility for whatever its subsidiaries or contractors do. It is right that they should be held accountable and if this means spending dividend money on the clean up, so be it.

  • Comment number 70.

    SuperAlien3 (#60) "And one thing more when will Union Carbide ass be kicked by Obama since Indians are waiting for compensation and environmental clean up since 25 years with more than 25 thousand dead?"

    The Bhopal disaster has no bearing on the BP oil spill, but some people like to harp on it. Here are some facts:

    The US government has never been involved in the Bhopal disaster, as Bhopal is in India and ithe incident falls entirely within Indian jurisdiction.

    Union Carbide Corp. owned 51% of Union Carbide India Ltd. in 1984, the year of the disaster, the remainder was Indian-owned.

    Union Carbide Corp. settled its civil liabilities in Indian courts in 1989.

    Union Carbide Corp. sold its interest in UCIL in 1994. At that time, UCIL (now Eveready Industries India Ltd.) spent $2 million on remediation.

    In 1998, the State government in India took possession of the site and assumed responsibility for further remediation from EIIL.

    Dow Chemical acquired Union Carbide in 2001.

    Recently this year, India obtained criminal convictions against eight persons in India associated with UCIL at the time of the disaster.

    Now, the following is my opinion:

    At this point, further official proceedings related to the Bhopal disaster are entirely an Indian matter. They have never been within the jurisdiction of the US government. I do not believe that Dow Chemical has any liability, as UCIL and its liability was separated from UCC before Dow acquired it.

  • Comment number 71.

    .
    Everyone is to blame:

    * BP, for sure!
    * US Government corruption
    * British government corruption
    * Irresponsible Consumers everywhere (bigger and faster toys, cheaper stuff and more convenience)
    * British pension funds putting their faith in the devil's black elixir. Bad bet.

    Priorities must change. All is not well in the world.....
    .

  • Comment number 72.

    65

    I think it is you that should learn something...

    Here are some facts

    So, the point I make, is Bush did not tighten standards as he wanted the deep sea drilling, and Cheney, has he any links with Halliburton?

    I wonder?

    From France 24

    Traceable to George Bush and Dick Cheney?

    This has happened because most of our politicians take money from the oil companies and therefore are beholden to the oil companies. The US is one the most technologically advanced countries in the world. But we do not secure our oil rigs with acoustic switches - an automatic shut-off device attached to the blowout preventer that stops oil escaping in the case of an explosion. Operators in places like the Persian Gulf and Norway have them [in Norway and Brazil they are a legal requirement], but not in the US.

    That's because the Bush and Cheney administration allowed safety precautions to be circumvented. [The US discussed making acoustic switches a legal requirement several years ago, but it was decided by the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, which is closely tied to the oil industry, that the devices, which cost 500,000 dollars (400,000 euros) each, were an unnecessary cost].

  • Comment number 73.

    KevinB (#66), it is true, as you write, that President Bush supported deep-water drilling in the Gulf. (Obama has supported it, too.)

    It is a fact that BP was licensed to drill for oil on the site, which was leased to BP in 2008.

    Your third "fact" may be a fact as far as stating what it is you imagine, but your imagination is opinion.

    BP is the "responsible party" for the incident under US law, as the holder of the lease to develop oil on the site. Halliburton and Transocean are subcontractors. The liability of the various parties to the incident remains to be determined. BP is the one on the hot seat right now simply because they are the prime contractor, and therefore the "responsible party."

    You can find a link to the Oil Pollution Act in Mr. Mardell's America forum, if you are interested in the details.

  • Comment number 74.

    SuperAlien3 (#67) "25,000 DEAD Indians are speculative hypotheticals?"

    No, hypotheticals are statements of yours such as:

    "If Exxon had caused this I am sure USA would have saved it no matter what. US president would be saying something like this: ..."

    "Will USA issue tax breaks to BP, or will USA push BP to bankruptcy and eventual nationalization by US government and its assets transferred to Exxon?"

    That sort of stuff is not worth discussion, in my opinion.

  • Comment number 75.

    68. At 10:10pm on 11 Jun 2010, martinsrichard53 wrote:

    I would like to thank BP for the lost of my job now I can no longer pay my bills because i do not work in the oil fields or work on the water I am not covered under any this BP help. I worked in a Restaurant no one is coming to the Gulf so I am no longer needed. they are going to close the store. I hope you starve TOO. I will be losing my home thanks again BP.


    Hey that sucks. I assumed everyone would get help. I hope you do. I'm really sorry.
    PS I'm out of work myself.

  • Comment number 76.

    #31. Kevinb wrote:

    "How is that apology coming along...liar JOHN FROM HENDON"

    I shall be as nice to you as is possible: you have a severe persecution complex as is evidenced by the way that you assume that everybody is referring to you all the time when they generally are not. Go get some medical attention.

  • Comment number 77.

    I think BP should make more of a fuss about the American companies it employed, who are the guilty ones. Halliburton seems to own Washington; one spun-off subsidiary has a $150 billion contract with the US Dept of Defence. After the fraudulent Weapons of Mass Destruction outrage and the American-sourced Credit Crunch why are British politicians still fawning on Washington?

  • Comment number 78.

    "Japan"....Well, it was nice while it lasted ;-)

  • Comment number 79.

    The fact that BP has any defenders in this discussion is appalling. From what I understand (and correct me if I'm wrong) the media in the UK is portraying general US sentiment as being highly anti-British, and I if that's happening I think it's probably clouding the issue by triggering defensive attitudes along national lines. But it's just not the case -- there really is no anti-UK attitude here in the US. The anger is specifically trained at this particular company. If it were an American company in question, I think I can safely say that the public's response would be no different. So the Us Against Them fallacy really needs to be dispensed with and people should put their flags away. The notion of dividends being paid out is repugnant to most people purely on principle (much like the damage-control image-rescue promo campaigns BP has been rolling out) -- the prevailing feeling is that given the emergency circumstances, stopping the leak really ought to be Priority Number One. Not as any gesture of one country's atonement to another (or any similar national-pride mentality that a lot of people seem to automatically gravitate toward), but simply because the company in question happens to have caused, you know, an environmental calamity on an unprecedented scale. BP protecting their image and distributing profits while their well continues ejecting literally one million gallons of oil into the ocean with each day that passes (we're on Day 52 incidentally) is detestable.

  • Comment number 80.

    Hi robert,

    Can you give us your view on Japans imminent collapse......? Some of my friends have been predicting this for SOME time.....It's now breaking news.....Greece goes and the Euro goes,,,,what happens if Japan goes Robert....?


    No more banking stories required at that point?

  • Comment number 81.

    John from Hendon - you can use the "complain about ..." link. The mods would it off. That would spare others having to read it.

  • Comment number 82.

    I posted yesterday about how Americans are not angry with Brits.
    After reading these idiotic posts, I am not so sure.
    Fry, BP, fry!

  • Comment number 83.

    rightwingnutjob wrote:

    "the initial reports from the rig witnesses, which are being carried in US papers, indicate BP called the shots and ordered the measures that blew the rig. Are your papers carrying the excerps from the statements? Pretty damning stuff and it is really making people mad over here."

    These statements from interested parties, who might have personal motives to exonerate themselves, or might simply be "on the take" have a certain interest, but how believable are they? Will they stand up to cross-examination?

  • Comment number 84.

    The point I'm making is that this story is a NON event (Yeah I care about the planet, but big stuff is brewing) and Robert is in on the act ;-)

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 86.

    Wow, you Brits are not happy because of a dividend payment by a multi-national company? Seriously? I’m hope the few here are not representative of the country.

    No sympathy at all for the investors of this company, suck it up, you can do nothing about this. If you are lucky BP will come out of this with some assets, if not you lost your investment. It’s that simple. FWIW I have some money in an IRA (pension or sorts) that is in BP stock but my portofolios is nicely divested so it’s just one of those things and not a big deal.

    Seriously, the people you need to be mad at are the managers of BP that let this happen and the money manages that invested too heavily in one company.

    Talk about the UK boycotting the US or getting even, now that’s borderline funny.

  • Comment number 87.

    I am amazed at some of the comments on this blog. I am really amazed at the anti-American statements. In all that has happened you do not hear the Americans saying anything that comes close. But you do hear a lot of comments about BP from the Americans. If you are angry at the president for speaking out against BP please keep in mind in the USA right now he looks like a weak, indecisive and unprepared leader. Whether that is the case or not. He may lose his Power over this. BP looks even worse, everything thay have tried has failed, over and over. both are putting public relations and politics before the problem at hand,STOPING THE LEAK!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Dear Mr. Robert Peston, could you and the BBC maybe write about STOPING THE LEAK. Maybe speak to a few scientists and engineers. Maybe speak to some deep sea oil people that are not BP public relations. Serious discussion about stopping the leak needs to take place.

    Thanks.

  • Comment number 88.

    85. At 11:41pm on 11 Jun 2010, Texas_Guy wrote:

    After reading these comments, I am only sorry the Union Carbide accident didn't happen in Central London.


    Keep it to the Square Mile, and there's a few of us might just agree with you!

  • Comment number 89.

    It's a well recognized practice to consult the stakeholders - and in this instance the most relevant stakeholders are the shareholders in BP. Some shareholder research along the following lines might elicit valuable opinion.

    Should BP pay dividends in its normal manner ?
    Should BP only withhold dividends from American shareholders as their President is suggesting the withholding of dividends ?
    Should BP pay out a double dividend to all shareholders immediately ?
    Should BP pay all of the planned dividend money to the non-US shareholders and not pay any dividend to American shareholders.
    Should BP withhold the American shareholders dividend and give it to the Republicans ? or the Democrats ?
    Should dividend money be set aside to sue American Banks for causing the present recession and use the billions awarded to pay the clean-up costs and everything else for which the American media has awarded BP the Father Christmas position for 2010, 2011, 2012,... ?

    It's time to put some serious questions to the shareholders to find out how they feel their company should handle this question...

  • Comment number 90.

    Alertcom:
    British Petroleum can do whatever it wants. But if some of your suggestions are agreed to by the British Petroleum shareholders then they should not be surprised when the US government seizes all US assets of British Petroleum and throw them out of the US.
    How big would your dividend be, then?

  • Comment number 91.

    Something else you brits need to also understand is who BPs biggest customer is, America!

  • Comment number 92.

    87. At 11:57pm on 11 Jun 2010, Fatmojojo wrote:

    I am amazed at some of the comments on this blog. I am really amazed at the anti-American statements.


    I feel really ashamed.

  • Comment number 93.

    84. At 11:20pm on 11 Jun 2010, JavaMan wrote:

    The point I'm making is that this story is a NON event (Yeah I care about the planet, but big stuff is brewing) and Robert is in on the act ;-)

    Then you need to understand than in the US this story is the main act, and will continue to be for months, and possibly, years to come.
    If the experts are right, this oil spill will ruin more miles of coastline than Great Britain even has. Imagine every mile of British coastline under a giant oil slick, and you may begin to understand the gravity of this story.

  • Comment number 94.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 95.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 96.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 97.

    Birds and fish are literally being cooked alive in the oil.

  • Comment number 98.

    And someone please explain to the PR people at BP that the Television ads blanketing America's TV channels featuring the company's CEO are only making things worse.

  • Comment number 99.

    93. At 00:38am on 12 Jun 2010, Texas_Guy wrote:
    "If the experts are right ..."

    I was in Cornwall at the time of the Torrey Canyon disaster. The experts way overstated the damage and the length of time it would take to recover. It was of course sickening. But it was soon over. At least compared to the banking crisis. Or the life expectancy of a pernicious sanctimonious Brit. If it's any consolation.

  • Comment number 100.

    48. At 9:02pm on 11 Jun 2010, Kevinb wrote:

    "I am English, thank you, and more than aware of my own country's history"

    Maybe you can tell me more about the murder and destruction of the indigenous people of the country now called America, and also how you treat the Mexicans?

    Also, about depleted uranium shells in Iraq, and maybe rendition, and there are more

    You want tit for tat?"
    ------------------------------------------------

    Kevinb. Your rants are typical of fanatics; pulling bits and pieces
    out the air of history, mixing them together and call it a factoid.

    The trouble with that is that 'English' history is full of murderous acts done in the name of the King/Queen/the almighty pound. Yet you take cavalier attitude towards the slave trade and the destruction of entire generation of Africans and Chinese. And that's history we KNOW about. Heaven knows what you did to the Indians on the subcontinent.

    Any wonder Great Britain, the English, your country is no longer an Empire. Any wonder you have to prop up ego by thrashing the United States.

    As for the Mexicans, many of whom are illegal, stream across the border in
    OUR direction. They and Americans are not running for the border TOWARDS Mexico. Why? Because their kids are educated are never asked if they are here legally or not. From pre-school to high school. Free education! If they get really sick they can go to the emergency room because, by law, they will not be turned away.

    So tell me, Kevinb, what do you really know about Mexicans in the United States.





    49. At 9:05pm on 11 Jun 2010, Kevinb wrote:
    41

    By the way, the slave trade still goes on, and it was abolished by the UK in 1807

    In the USA it was not abolished until 1865

    Even in the 1960s appartheid existed in the Deep South, and even now, the sub-prime crisis was indirectly caused by the redlining and demarkation within Chicago

    So I can do US history or UK,

 

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