U.S. lifts ban blocking BP from new government contracts
REUTERS. The U.S. government lifted a ban on Thursday that excluded BP from new federal contracts, after the British oil major filed a lawsuit saying it was being unfairly penalized for its 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill.
The Environmental Protection Agency and BP said they reached an agreement ending the prohibition on bidding for federal contracts on everything from fuel supply contracts to offshore leases after the company committed to a set of safety, ethical and corporate governance requirements.
Shares of BP traded in the United States rose about 1 percent to $48.09 after the close of regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange, a sign investors were hopeful the company could now try to grow its U.S. offshore operations.
"It's time to let them out from the doghouse. Let's let them get back to work," said Mike Breard, energy company analyst with Hodges Capital Management in Dallas.
The government hit BP with the suspension in November 2012, citing its "lack of business integrity," after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion killed 11 workers and gushed million of barrels of oil into coastal waters, the worst offshore oil disaster in U.S. history.
The ban only affected new contracts, not existing deals, and BP filed last August to overturn it.
BP is one of the largest suppliers of fuel to the U.S. government, including to the military, holding contracts worth more than $1.34 billion.
It is also a significant holder of leases in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, which has seen a surge in new crude production following the Macondo oil well blowout.
The last lease sale BP participated in was in June 2012, when they acquired deepwater leases. They also bought 11 leases in the December 2011 sale, the first post-Macondo auction.
Despite the settlement with the EPA, BP is still paying out millions of dollars to settle damage claims from Gulf residents in a contentious process that BP has said is being mismanaged by the administrator, Louisiana lawyer Patrick Juneau.
BP has provisioned about $42 billion in charges related to the spill.
|March, 16, 10:40:00|
|March, 16, 10:35:00|
|March, 16, 10:30:00|
|March, 16, 10:25:00|
|March, 16, 10:20:00|
|March, 16, 10:15:00|
BLOOMBERG - While Europe as a whole gets more than a third of its gas from Russia, that share is lower in the U.K., which receives the bulk of its fuel from North Sea fields and Norway. Still, Moscow-based Gazprom PJSC was the second-biggest supplier to major industrial consumers in the U.K. last year, according to Britain’s energy regulator Ofgem.
FT - of the six LNG tankers that have made deliveries into the UK so far in 2018 three have carried cargoes originally from Russia, leading to questions about whether Moscow was gaining a foothold in the UK gas market after starting up the Yamal LNG facility in Siberia late last year.
REUTERS - So far this year, two Yamal cargoes unloaded at British terminals for domestic consumption, accounting for about a third of Britain’s 2018 LNG imports after typical supplier Qatar pre-sold the bulk of its winter output to Asia last year.
REUTERS - U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $60.77 a barrel at 0753 GMT, up 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, from their previous settlement. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $64.62 per barrel, down just 2 cents from their last close.