Friday, June 18, 2010

BP Walking Plank to Insolvency?

As of June 14, BP (BP-$31.71) has paid out approximately $1.6 billion – spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to affected Gulf states, claims paid, and federal — in costs related to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, BP is financially vulnerable to substantial putative penalties, even without a showing of wrongdoing on its part.

BP shares have lost approximately $90 billion in value, or 51 percent, since the Deepwater Horizon accident touched off the Macondo field blowout in late April.

Cost to bond traders for five-year insurance protection against nonpayment (per contract covers $10 million in face value), better known as credit default swaps (CDSes) is soaring: the price to insure $10M in BP debt this morning was $575,000, up from $43,200 on April 22, the day the Transocean -leased semi-submersible drilling rig sank.

Insurance on BP’s one-year swaps is more expensive than for its five-year debt, another sign of the company’s alleged “short-term credit distress” risk. Is the U.K.-based oil major walking the plank to bankruptcy?

Editor David J Phillips does not hold a financial interest in any stocks mentioned in this article. The 10Q Detective has a Full Disclosure Policy.

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