BP shares rise 3 per cent under new boss

Shares in the oil giant BP closed 3% higher on Bob
Dudley’s first day as its chief executive.

The price was boosted by comments made by Mr Dudley
suggesting the company may restart divided payments to shareholders.

BP also named a list of Gulf of Mexico oil fields whose
revenue it will use to swell its $20bn (£12.6bn) fund for victims of the oil
spill.

The fields include Thunder Horse, Atlantis and Mad Dog.

Its shares rose 2.7p to close at 440.5p, their highest
level since early June.

BP also said on Friday that the total bill for fighting
the spill and compensating victims hit $11.2bn (£7bn) this week.

The company is planning to sell $30bn of assets.

Seymour Pierce oil analyst, Alan Sinclair, said pledging
income from the oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico itself was a smart move.

He said: “It’s quite a clever thing that BP’s
done… (it) should suggest to the US administration not to in any way meddle
with these facilities.”

There have been concerns that the US could ban BP from
future drilling after lawmakers in July voted to pass an amendment to a bill
that would prevent BP from acquiring new exploration leases after the explosion
at its Macondo well in April.

One of the first jobs tackled by Bob Dudley, who took
over as chief executive from Tony Hayward, was to form a new unit to oversee
safety across the company following the oil disaster.

The oil giant says the division will have “sweeping
powers”, including the authority to intervene in operations to uphold
safety standards.

BP hopes the new unit, along with a number of other
organisational changes, will help rebuild trust in the company.

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