June 17th, 2010
02:04 PM ET

What can BP afford to pay? Nobody's sure.

Ben Rooney
Staff Reporter, CNNMoney

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/08/story.hires.03.gi.jpg caption="But beyond political pressure and takeover talk, investors have been grappling with the fact that the ultimate price BP will have to pay for the spill remains unknown" width=300 height=169]

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - In the days immediately after oil began leaking from a well deep below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, few expected the spill could cripple one of one the biggest energy companies in the world.

Now, nearly two months after what has become the worst oil spill in US history, the outlook for BP is unclear and investors are bracing for the worst.

Shares of the giant oil company have plunged 48% since the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon, erasing nearly $90 billion of BP's market value.

Investors have been rattled by pressure on BP from Washington to suspend or reduce its dividend payment, which totaled $10.5 billion last year. There is also growing speculation that BP could be taken over by a rival or end up in bankruptcy court because of the spill.

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Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. davec


    BP made bad choices. To boost profit they cut corners and the result is devastation in the Gulf, possible devastation in the Atlantic, and the possible end to BP itself.

    Greed. It was the root of the financial meltdown. Greed. It was the root of the BP oil leak. Greed; will it bring you down?

    June 16, 2010 at 7:14 pm |

    BP should pay for every loss big and small suffered by all the people affected by the spill and Obama should make sure the oil companies do not raise prices to hellp BP cover their losses

    June 16, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  3. Jaraski White

    This is totally awful. I'm a Louisiana redident and I think BP can afford to pay more than $100 Billion. I work as a teacher so my employment will not be directly affected by the spill. However, I still think of the millions of people who work in positions that have anything to do with seafood. Everybody is focusing on the fisherman and oil rig workers, but what about the people who cook the food and work in the underbelly of Louisiana. What will BP do for the people who are out there cleaning up the spill, injesting chemicals. The birds who migrate will be affected too. I saw flamingos flying in Lafayette. I never saw this before. Are they lost or something? This whole spill is mind blowing. I hope the money gets to the where it really needs to go and thats to nonprofit social service orginizations.

    June 16, 2010 at 3:15 pm |