Can't let BP be destroyed, says Cameron
26 June 2010
British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday warned against "the destruction" of oil explorer BP Plc, and said some certainty is needed over its costs from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, even as the company's stock plunged to a 14-year low.
The new British prime minister, who is in Canada for the G20 summit, is expected to hold his first bilateral talks with US President Barack Obama today, said it was important for transparency over the British company's liability in the catastrophe.
"I think it is also in all our long-term interests that there is some clarity, some finality, to all of this, so that we don't at the same time see the destruction of a company that is important for all our interests," he told Canadian broadcaster CBC.
BP has increasingly come under fire from the US administration for triggering the country's worst ever environmental disaster when a BP-leased rig exploded in the Gulf in April. Despite desperate efforts, BP has still not managed to cap all of the estimated 35,000 to 60,000 barrels of oil spilling into the sea every day.
The British energy giant on Friday said it had spent $2.35 billion on compensation and clean-up costs as the giant slick washes up on the southern US coast. But the final costs are likely to be even higher, with BP already having agreed to pay 20 billion dollars into a compensation fund over the next five years.
Obama has vowed to hold BP accountable for the spill. Cameron said the oil spill was "heartbreaking to see," but vowed that BP would clean up the spill and compensate those affected.
"It wants to do these things, it will do these things. I want to work with everyone concerned to try to make sure that out of all this there will still be a strong and stable BP, because it is an important company for all of us," Cameron said.
"That is about quiet diplomacy and making sure we deal with the issues, and I think that can be done."