[ … and it really couldn’t happen to a nicer group of people ]
Shares in BP plunged as much as 20% at one stage this morning
– wiping another £14bn off the company’s market value –
after the oil producer failed over the weekend to stop its catastrophic oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.
BP has now lost £44bn of its market capitalisation since 20 April, when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded.
By 10am the shares had staged a partial recovery from early lows of 420p, after their biggest fall in 18 years, but were still trading 14% lower, at 427p.
The company said a containment cap will be connected towards the end of the week, although the spill could worsen in the meantime.
BP has spent almost $1bn (£700m) so far attempting to plug the leak, but said it was “too early” to quantify other potential costs and liabilities associated with the incident.
The total bill could rise to as much as $12bn, according to UBS.