BP is strong enough to cope with the financial consequences of cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, British Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne told parliament on Monday.
"BP remains a strong company. Although its share price has fallen sharply since April, the company has the financial resouces to put right the damage," Huhne said.
"It has exceptionally strong cash flow and will continue to be a major employer and vital investor here and in the United States," he added, stressing that BP was effectively an Anglo-American company.
Huhne said any decision on suspension of BP's dividend was up to the company. U.S. politicians have urged the company to hold off on payments until claims resulting from the massive spill are met.
"This is entirely a matter for the BP directors," Huhne said.
Huhne, a member of the smaller Liberal Democrat coalition party, confirmed that Britain was reviewing its procedures for deep water drilling. The government has said it plans to double the annual inspections of its offshore rigs.
"That inspection is under way and there is an increase in the pace of inspection absolutely as I speak."
ReutersLast Mod: 14 Haziran 2010, 20:25