Moody's lowers Anadarko to 'junk' status, BP says they're still responsible

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Credit rating service Moody’s downgraded Anadarko Petroleum to the first notch in the ‘junk’ range, to Ba1 from Baa3. Anadarko officials told us previously the Woodlands-based company didn’t have any significant debt issues that would triggered by the junk status. “Moody’s action reflects the considerable uncertainty around Anadarko’s potential 25% share of the cleanup costs […]
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Feds reverse 2003 decision that exempted "worst case scenario" study

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The Department of the Interior issued a directive to oil and gas lessees and operators today requiring them to address the possibility of a blowout when filing for a new drilling permit, exploration plan, or development plan. The directive reverses a policy adopted in 2003 and included in a 2008 “Notice to Lessees” that exempted […]
Categories: Legal issues, Offshore

Dudley to the rescue, but will he do right?

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Tony Hayward is going home, even though the problems in the Gulf of Mexico are far from fixed. Hayward, who once vowed to stay until the job was done, is now handing off the duties for capping the runaway well and cleaning up the oil to BP managing director Bob Dudley.

AP

Dudley: BP’s fresh new face for disaster

At least, that’s what BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg told Sky News. Initially, Hayward thought he could jet over to Louisiana, get this thing taken care of and be back in London in short order. That hasn’t happened, and since we all know Hayward wants his life back, the board apparently decided to oblige.

In fact, comments like that may have something to do with Hayward’s reassignment.

"It is clear Tony has made remarks that have upset people," Svanberg said.

Perhaps his stone-faced evasiveness before Congress yesterday contributed as well. The timing is certainly curious.

At any rate, Dudley becomes BP’s new face of disaster. Dudley has had a loosely defined job at BP overseeing the Americas since he joined the board last year. That came after he fled Russia, where he ran TNK-BP until he ran afoul of Russian shareholders. Investors accused Dudley of mismanagement, Russian authorities raised issues with visas and taxes, and Dudley fled the country and went into hiding.

All of that should have prepared him for angry Gulf Coast residents.

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Endangered turtles as the 'poster child' for the spill

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Endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle hatchlings are gathering in the waters near the blownout oil well in the Gulf of Mexico — as predicted — spelling deep trouble for the creatures, the Chronicle’s Harvey Rice reported today (see below for more on that story). Kemp’s ridley hatchlings swim out to sea and cluster around clumps […]
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Markey: Anadarko, Mitsui should pony-up for spill

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Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Mitsui & Co. — BP’s partners in the gushing oil well in the Gulf of Mexico — should set aside money to pay a share of claims tied to the spill, U.S. Rep. Edward Markey told Bloomberg News today. The Woodlands-based Anadarko owns a 25 percent stake in the Gulf project, […]
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BP chairman says Hayward to have different role in oil spill

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BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, who until this week has been largely invisible as the crisis unfolds in the Gulf of Mexico, has told Sky News that CEO Tony Hayward will now have a changed role in dealing with the oil spill at the Macondo well. Svanberg said Hayward will hand over operations to managing director […]
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Nonprofit sticks by BP partnership for MS 150 benefit ride — for now

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Despite the negative attention the company has received since the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP will remain sponsor of the annual MS 150 bicycle ride for at least the next two years, an official with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society said today. Patrick Meredith for the Chronicle Bubbles greet riders at the […]
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BP pleased with collection system progress

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BP’s executive vice president Kent Wells said he was highly encouraged by the performance of the Q4000 vessel that is pulling up oil at its maximum capacity of 10,000 barrels of oil a day. In addition to a containment cap installed June 4, the addition of the new system is allowing the company to draw […]
Categories: General

$20 billion set aside now could save BP money later

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BP’s willingness to give in to White House demands the company set aside funds now for future claims from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill may turn out to be a smart move on many fronts. The $20 billion fund could lead to quicker payouts, leading some to skip filing suit in court and just […]
Categories: Legal issues

EPA sets hydraulic fracturing hearing schedule

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The Environmental Protection Agency has set the dates for four public meetings on a planned study of hydraulic fracturing and its potential impacts on drinking water. The meetings will provide public information about the proposed study scope and design, as well as be part of the process for soliciting public comments. The schedule: July 8 […]
Categories: Natural gas