|BP seeks return to drilling the Gulf of Mexico
In what has been an eventful year for the giant British oil company, BP hopes to renew drilling in the Gulf of Mexico this summer. This comes after the US justice department has announced that it is considering pressing manslaughter charges against the firm.
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is on record as the worst in history. BP is paying $41bn or £25bn cleaning up the spill and paying damages.
Although the British press has reported that BP has already got "firm approval" to drill ten new wells, US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazaar has come on record to stringently deny these reports. Salazaar said, "There is absolutely no such agreement nor would there be such an agreement,
This comes shortly after a Swedish arbitration tribunal upheld an injunction on a $16bn share swap deal between BP and Russian state oil giant Rosneft. The deal would have placed BP in a position to be able to exploit the Arctic's lucrative oil resources through partnership.
BP already has a partner in Russia, however. TNK BP s other half is AAR, a group of billionaires. They claim their shareholder agreement to pursue all projects in Russia on a 50:50 basis would be violated by any deal with Rosneft.
BP is exploring whether it will be able to complete the share swap without the Arctic exploration. However, many analysts think a share swap without access to Arctic oil is a pointless move on their part and may harm their reputation.