BP prepares $10 billion shareholder payout

And the reason for delaying temporarily taking over BP during the crisis is…what? At a minimum, Washington needs to demand a substantial lump sum immediately and take over payouts to those involved and impacted by the oil leak. BP has already been late paying fishermen and health care clinics and probably more.

BP declined to comment on its strategy tonight but it is understood that Hayward will say he is confident the company can pay for liabilities resulting from the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion – now estimated by analysts at $20bn to $60bn – as well as rewarding investors.

The move follows demands from senators Charles Schumer and Ron Wyden in a letter to Hayward all dividends be halted until the cost of the clean-up is known.

Analysts warned that committing to the dividend risked further political opprobrium in the US, with Alex Stewart from Evolution Securities fearing it could force Hayward to make a U-turn next month. BP reports its results on 27 July, when it will announce the size of its next quarterly payout, but it is expected to spend more than $10bn in total dividends this year.

“The problem they have is that the oil is likely to be still flowing by the time they announce results,” said Stewart. “It’s not going to look good paying about $3bn in [quarterly] dividends to shareholders if at the same time local fishermen are having their livelihoods destroyed in the Gulf.”

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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