SOURCE: Rothman Research

Rothman Research

June 16, 2010 08:13 ET

Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico Spilling Over the Oil & Gas Industry

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA--(Marketwire - June 16, 2010) - -- It happened on 20 April 2010 about 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana, the largest offshore spill in U.S. history. Close to two months after this calamity, the U.S. government estimates that between 12,000 barrels to 19,000 barrels are still pouring out the deepwater well on a daily basis. All attempts from BP plc (NYSE: BP) to cap the fissured well have failed so far. The company has already incurred expenditures of $1.6 billion which take account of a wide variety of costs varying from the oil spill response to grants and claims paid to the Gulf States and others. Making matters worse, BP's stock has lost 45% of its value since the Deepwater Horizon explosion. However, the damage may be even more far reaching as there are growing concerns within the industry that the spill could trigger new sets of tighter regulations that could ultimately raise the cost of drilling in deep water regions. is a source for investors seeking free information on the Major Integrated Oil & Gas industry; investors are encouraged to sign up for free at

While lawmakers in Washington are still debating the steps to take and waiting for all facts to point to a culprit (BP currently wearing the 'black sheep' skin), the 'go-baby-drill' campaign that was launched at the end of March by the Obama administration seemed to have lost some of its panache. News early this month indicated that the government is delaying the Virginia offshore oil and gas leases sale. "There are a number of uncertainties to where the political aftermath concerning the BP oil spill will lead. But what a majority of the people throughout the market believes is that it will not go as far as the closure of all deep water drillings. This would be an economic disaster that the United States will never risk. There is a strong feeling that new regulations will be imposed and these could boost operational costs for rig operators," commented Jack Benassi of "Offshore drilling has become a vital component in the bid for the United States to become more autonomous concerning its energy supply."

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There are close to 50 offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico run by some of the largest integrated oil and gas players. One of those is Italy's biggest industrial company, Eni SpA (NYSE: E), which has operations about a few miles away from the Macondo well. Paul Scaroni, CEO of Eni, believes that the oil spill will end up strengthening the position of OPEC which has control over a vast reserve of onshore and shallow waters oil. "If operation costs surge is to be the outcome of the Gulf of Mexico's oil spill, I can see the logic behind Mr. Scaroni's thinking," observed Benassi, senior researcher at

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