BP's Incoming Chief Says Company May Restart Dividend Payments Next Year


BP Plc (BP) may restart its dividend payments early next year after choosing to suspend them in the aftermath of the explosion of its Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico in April, according to the BBC.

The oil company's board plans to meet by the end of the year to discuss reinstating a dividend payment by next March, the BBC reported, citing an interview with Bob Dudley, who takes over the CEO post from embattled BP Chief Tony Hayward later this week. Dudley didn't disclose further dividend plans for the company, which paid out about $11 billion in dividends last year, according to the BBC.

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BP suspended dividend payments in June as costs related to the April 20 explosion, which killed 11 workers, escalated. The company, which owns 65% of the rig, took a second-quarter charge of $32.2 billion to account for expenses relating to the accident.

Dudley this week fired the executive at the center of the Gulf oil disaster and created a new division to improve safety. Andy Inglis, the head of the company's upstream business, will leave the company at the end of the year, BP said in a statement.

BP this week also filed documents with the Securities & Exchange Commission to sell notes due in 2015 and 2020. Though the company didn't specify how much money it hoped to raise, Bloomberg News, citing a person familiar with the process, said the debt may be worth as much as $3.5 billion.