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BP Shares Rise, as It Spreads Oil Spill Blame

BP shares are rising in the pre-market on Wednesday after the oil giant issues a report on the oil spill saying that it's not the only company to blame.



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(BP) - Get BP Plc Report

shares are rising in the pre-market on Wednesday morning after the release of its much-anticipated report on the causes of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The BP report argues that multiple companies and multiple work teams from BP,


(RIG) - Get Transocean Ltd. Report



(HAL) - Get Halliburton Company Report

should share the blame for the oil rig explosion and oil spill.

>>BP: No Smoking Gun in Oil Spill

BP shares were up 3.4%, or $1.28, to $38.47 in early trading Wednesday.

The BP report has been expected for some time, and the expectation in terms of the tenor of the report was that BP would look to spread the blame around, without giving the impression that it was aiming to weasel its way out of accepting its fair share of oil spill responsibility.

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The oil spill report was not the only potential reason for a small spike in BP shares on Wednesday. Fitch Ratings lifted its long-term issuer default rating on BP by three notches, from BBB to A. During the worst of the oil spill crisis, the ratings agencies were battling each other to see how low they could go in reducing ratings on BP debt as fears of a BP bankruptcy seemed far from far-fetched.

Now, Fitch says that even though BP may face total pending liabilities of between $35 billion and $67.5 billion, the oil giant has adequate financial resources to meet its obligations, and that access to funding will likely become easier for BP with no further threat of an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

If the BP report was having a positive impact on BP shares, it's important to remember that BP shares are still below the $40 at which they were trading when the oil spill finally stopped.

Additionally, shares of Transocean and Halliburton were not experiencing any immediate decline as a result of BP pointing a finger in their direction. Transocean shares were up marginally in pre-market trading, while Halliburton shares were flat in early trading.

-- Written by Eric Rosenbaum from New York.


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