BP hit by doubts over ability to pay for costs of oil spill

Thursday, June 10, 2010
By Paul Martin

By Steve Gelsi & Alistair Barr
MarketWatch.com

BP PLC shares slumped Wednesday, leaving its market value halved in fewer than seven weeks, while the oil giant’s bonds were crushed as questions mounted over whether it can afford to clean up the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

Oil-industry insider Matt Simmons, head of the Texas-based, energy-focused investment bank Simmons & Co., told Fortune magazine Wednesday that BP /quotes/comstock/13*!bp/quotes/nls/bp (BP 32.22, +3.02, +10.34%) /quotes/comstock/23s!a:bp. (UK:BP. 373.10, -18.45, -4.71%) will run out of cash from lawsuits, cleanup costs and other expenses.

“They have about a month before they declare Chapter 11″ bankruptcy, Simmons said.

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