BP PLC has taken new steps to bolster its cash and available
credit, adding $5 billion
to its oil-spill war chest amid deepening concerns about the escalating costs of the Gulf of Mexico disaster
A person familiar with the matter said BP had arranged more than $3 billion
in new unsecured bank credit lines in the past week and had picked up $2 billion
in cash borrowed against BP's stake in OAO Rosneft, the state-controlled Russian oil firm, and other assets.
BP's total cash and available
credit now tops $20 billion
, up from the $15 billion
that BP said it had on June 16.
BP has lost roughly
in market value since a drilling rig it had been leasing, the Deepwater Horizon, exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in late April, unleashing what could prove to be the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Credit-rating agencies have downgraded its debt to near junk status.
英国石油公司租用的一台钻探设备深水地平线(Deepwater Horizon) 4月底在墨西哥湾发生爆炸，造成可能是美国历史上最严重的漏油事故，受此影响，英国石油公司的股票市值已缩水约1000亿美元。信贷评级机构已将其债务评级降至接近垃圾债。
Details of the additional
funding were reported online Friday by The Wall Street Journal as BP's share price fell to its lowest level in 14 years. The shares were off 6%, or $1.72, at $27.02 in 4 p.m. trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
《华尔街日报》(Wall Street Journal)上周五在线报道了英国石油公司增加筹资的详细情况。周五英国石油公司股价跌至14年来最低水平，该股当日下午4：00在纽约证交所(New York Stock Exchange)收于27.02美元，下滑1.72美元，跌幅为6%。
Fears have been escalating that the cost of the spill will be greater than expected, and some analysts have speculated the toll could lead to a bankruptcy
BP dismisses such speculation
and says it has ample resources to ride out the crisis
. It has boosted the bill for its response
so far to $2.35 billion
, including the cost of the clean-up, contain
ment, drilling of relief
wells, grants to U.S. states and compensation
claims paid. It is unclear what the ultimate
cost of the spill will be for BP and whether the steps the company has already taken to shore up its balance sheet will be enough.
Market jitters were reinforced by concerns Friday that a potentialtropical
storm in the Caribbean Sea may head towards the Gulf, potential
ly hampering BP's effort to contain
the spill. There are some 30,000 people, more than 4,500 ships and some 100 aircraft involved in the clean-up and logistics.
BP has several options for asset sales, said bankers familiar with the matter. High on its list would be its 60% stake in Argentine oil and gas producer
Pan American Energy, and assets in Colombia and Venezuela.
熟悉情况的银行家们说，英国石油公司有几个资产出售选择方案。可能性较高的是出售其所持阿根廷油气公司泛美能源公司(Pan American Energy)的60%股份，以及在哥伦比亚与委内瑞拉的资产。
Or BP may reduce its stakes in U.S. fields operated by partners, such as the Gulf field Mars, operated by Royal Dutch Shell PLC.
英国石油公司也可降低在由其合伙人经营的美国油田中的持股，如在荷兰皇家壳牌石油公司(Royal Dutch Shell PLC)运营的Gulf field Mars中的持股。
Energy analysts believe that with the Deepwater Horizon disaster
harming its brand in America, BP could be keen to sell U.S. assets.
'BP needs to downsize its exposure
to the U.S. due to the political risk they face there now,' said Jason Kenney, an analyst at ING Bank. He expects BP will seek to reduce its position in U.S. onshore natural gas or in mature
oil fields outside of Alaska.
荷兰商业银行(ING BANK)分析师肯尼(Jason Kenney)说，英国石油公司需要减少其在美国的业务以免在美国遭遇政治风险。肯尼预计该公司将减少其在美国岸上天然气或阿拉斯加以外成熟油田的业务。
that doesn't appear imminent
is a takeover of the whole company.
has swirled in recent weeks that a rival such as Exxon Mobil Corp. could swoop in and take advantage
of BP's weakened state, several bankers say such a move is unlikely
at least until the extent
of its spill-related
liabilities become clear.
A person familiar with the matter said BP has received no takeover approaches in the wake of the spill.
Last week, BP acceded to White House demands to set up a $20 billion
for compensating victims of the oil disaster
It said it would offset
the cost of the remediation fund by canceling its dividend
for three quarters, raising $10 billion
from asset sales and cutting capital spending.
'As we announced last week, our board considers it appropriate
in the circumstances to maintain
a very conservativefinancial
position, with a focus on conserving cash,' BP spokesman
Andrew Gowers said.
Yields on the company's bonds soared Friday, as did the cost of insuring its debt. The cost of protecting $10 million-worth of BP bonds against default rose by $44,000 a year to $580,000.
投资者的忧虑因野村控股(Nomura Holdings Inc.)驻伦敦分公司的一份报告而加剧，该报告说英国石油公司可能会需要出售股票来向商业伙伴作出保证，它拥有资金以化解与漏油相关的成本。
Investors' fears were stoked by a report by Nomura Holdings Inc. in London saying
BP may need to sell shares to assure trading partners it has the financial
wherewithal to absorb
to the spill.
Nomura analyst Alastair Syme said while BP has enough liquidity to deal with the clean-up costs and the phased funding of the escrow account
, it may struggle if liabilities from the spill were to rise, for example due to hurricane
damage, or if oil prices fall. He said BP's options are constrained because issuing debt has become expensive
and selling off assets takes time.
Mr. Syme said BP has an estimated '$2 billion
to $2.5 billion
of one-year commercial
paper to roll over, needed to fund day-to-day trading activities and working
capital, which will likely be much harder (and more expensive
) to do in this environment.' BP said it doesn't comment
on its financial
BP and its advisers had been considering
a large bond sale to shore up the company's finances, but have shelved the plan for now, other people familiar with the matter said.
Nomura's Mr. Syme wrote that BP could raise equity
-linked financing in the near term, perhaps from a Sovereign Wealth Fund. However, doing so at its depressed
share price might make current shareholders uneasy
, since they could face large dilution. One of those people familiar with the matter said BP has no imminent
plans for an equity
or bond deal.
上周左右英国石油公司与瑞士信贷集团（Credit Suisse Group）安排了一次所谓的两头封（cap-and-collar）交易，英国石油公司以其所持Rosneft股权为抵押借入资金。
In the last week or so, BP has arranged a so-called
cap-and-collar deal with Credit Suisse Group, enabling the oil company to borrow funds backed by the Rosneft stake.
One of those people said that the proceeds from the Rosneft deal were less than $1 billion
but that the company had struck other, similar deals.
Guy Chazan / Dana Cimilluca