London: BP has revealed that the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico had cost it almost $1 billion, sparking a 13% plunge in its shares after the latest attempt to fix the leaking well failed.
At its lowest point, the British energy giant’s share price dropped nearly 17% on the day, but it recovered slightly to close at 430 pence, down 13.1%.
The sell-off wiped more than $17.6 billion off its market value — its biggest one-day shares fall for 18 years.
There was more bad news for BP following the failure of the “top kill” operation to plug the undersea well when US President Barack Obama warned that the culprits of the disaster would be held legally accountable.
In a statement, BP said, “The cost of the response to date amounts to about $990 million, including the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to the Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs.
“It is too early to quantify other potential costs and liabilities associated with the incident.”
The group had announced Saturday that the risky attempt to plug the leak by pumping heavy drilling mud into the well had failed to stop the flow of oil.
Yesterday’s dizzying share-price drop was the first opportunity that London investors had to react to the news after a British public holiday on Monday.
Engineers had spent days pumping heavy drilling fluid into the leaking well head on the ocean floor in a bid to stem the gushing crude and ultimately seal the well with cement.