Earlier this year, BP raised $5bn in new loans to bolster its capital position following the Gulf oil spill. Various banks were involved, including BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered, SocGen and RBS. Lloyds was not.
But last night a Lloyds banker told me that his bank had come very close to getting in on the act too. Apparently the option made it all the way up to Eric Daniels, the chief exec (right), before being rejected.
At the time Lloyds’ decision seemed prudent. While the loan was in the early stages of discussion, the well remain unplugged, and even after it was plugged, the liabilities could have been unlimited.
The US government will end the moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico this week, the White House has said.
Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, confirmed the news today, saying the government is close to agreeing the necessary safeguards to ensure that drilling can resume. He said: “We’re getting close to having in place something that would likely allow us to lift that moratorium. This process I believe will wrap up very soon.”
The moratorium was imposed in the wake of the BP oil spill.
Ken Salazar, the interior secretary, will hold a news conference at 1pm today to give further details.
Unsurprisingly here at the first Oil & Money annual conference since the BP oil spill, the talk in the corridors and meeting rooms, not to mention the main stage, has been dominated by that tragedy.
In general, the tone has been one of a stoic determination on the part of executives to carry on as normal, although coupled with an acceptance that much of the fallout is as yet unknown.
But at one of today’s session, that stoicism boiled over into outright hostility towards the US government about its attempts to regulate the industry post-Macondo.
I will be blogging today from the first day of the Oil & Money conference in London, where the great and the good of the oil business are thronging the hallways of one of the city’s swishest hotels.
The keynote speech this morning was delivered by Peter Voser, the CEO of Shell. He talked about the role natural gas has to play in global energy supplies, and especially in the UK, which our energy editor Sylvia Pfeifer wrote about in today’s FT.
But when it came to the Q&A sessions, there are no prizes for guessing what came up first: the BP oil spill. How far would Voser go in criticising his company’s main rival? How confident was he that such an incident would not happen to Shell?