BP Spill: Ripples

BP well ends gushing, challenges ahead

Marketplace Staff Sep 20, 2010
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BP Spill: Ripples

BP well ends gushing, challenges ahead

Marketplace Staff Sep 20, 2010
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TEXT OF STORY

BILL RADKE: The government says the BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico has finally stopped gushing. It’s been almost five months since the well started spilling oil into the water. The aftermath will last much longer. Marketplace’s Alisa Roth joins us live to talk about what’s still being figured out. Hi Alisa.

ALISA ROTH: Good morning.

RADKE: So BP’s share price rose after the spill was declared officially over. But the company is still going to have to pay out a lot of money. How much is BP out so far?

ROTH: BP says, so far, the spill response has cost $9.5 billion. That includes almost $250 million that’s been paid out to people like fishermen and hotel owners who’ve lost business because of the mess. And it’s pretty likely BP will still have to pay fines, under the Clean Water Act. Those could total well into the billions of dollars. Now, none of this is terribly surprising — the company has set aside more than $32 billion to pay for all these things. But it’s still a lot of money we’re talking about.

RADKE: When can we expect to see BP drilling in the Gulf again?

ROTH: Maybe never. There’s a ban on drilling deepwater wells that’s in place until the end of November. In July, the House passed a bill — it’s stalled in the Senate for now — that would bar BP from getting new offshore leases because of its lousy safety record. If that bill, or something similar passes, it could keep BP out of the Gulf indefinitely. Now, this is all a big turning point for BP, especially because it’s getting a new CEO on October 1st when Bob Dudley officially takes over from Tony Hayward. It’s obviously good news all around that the spill is over. But it’s also a huge understatement to say the new head faces a lot of challenges.

RADKE: That’s Marketplace’s Alisa Roth. Alisa, thank you.

ROTH: You’re welcome.

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