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It’ll likely be another 24 hours before we get a sense of whether BP’s highly publicized “top kill” maneuver to stop the gusher of oil into the Gulf of Mexico has worked, according to Dow Jones:
But the effort so far is going as planned, the company’s managing director, Robert Dudley, said early Thursday. In an interview on NBC’s “Today” show, Dudley said the effort, known as a “top kill,” is “moving the way we wanted” but that it is too early still to draw conclusions.
“It’s (top kill) an arm wrestling match between two equal forces, the well and the pressures flowing into it, and trying to drive the fluids back in. It’s what we expected. It’s as difficult as we expected.”
Still, analysts are churning out some of their thoughts on what the “top kill” might mean for BP shares and ADRs, and the industry as a whole. Here’s a smattering.
SocGen: Successful completion of the operation represents considerable short-term upside to our view, particularly if it coincides with renewed market optimism. The total bill to BP may turn out to be lower (or higher) than our central scenario. Downside risks are numerous: failure to arrest the leak until one or both relief wells are completed in August (with an added risk of the hurricane season arriving by then), uncertainty about the flow rate, an unclear US legal environment with retroactive changes possible, and lack of complete clarity on where the fault lies and how financial responsibility will be shared. Longer term, BP may be facing increasing operating costs in US deepwater. While this will not be limited to BP alone, the company is more dependent on the Gulf of Mexico for its oil production than any of its major competitors.Credit Suisse: As we all watch for the outcome of the top kill effort, the risk to offshore activity keeps us cautious on the group. But our day in DC yielded positives on the margin: (1) Gulf of Mexico (GoM) shallow water permitting may resume shortly and (2) Congress seems to understand that excessive liability caps may choke off development activity....MORE
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