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BP’s (NYSE:BP) trip down the road to rehabilitation has been a long one. Nearly three years have passed since the Deepwater Horizon rig, contracted from Transocean (NYSE:RIG), exploded and spewed 4.9 million barrels of oil into the ocean. Yet, the company is still embroiled in lawsuits and, as of last November, is subject to a temporary ban from obtaining new contracts — including oil-drilling leases — with the federal government.
The Environmental Protection Agency tarred BP with a harsh brush stroke when it instituted the ban on the basis of the company’s “lack of business integrity,” which the agency said caused in the 2010 oil spill. Now, BP may be out of the running for Wednesday’s Gulf of Mexico oil-lease sale. The company may submit a bid, but if the ban is still in effect when the contract is awarded, the company’s offer will be discarded, said the U.S. Department of the Interior Thursday, according to The Wall Street Journal.
This statement from the Interior Department reflects just how slow BP’s recovery has been. The company is one of the biggest producers of oil and natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico, and one of its most active prospectors, stated the publication. Furthermore, the Gulf is also one of its main drivers of medium- and long-term growth, at least in the company’s eyes. But, as the company may not be participate in the sale, and potentially others like it in the future, BP’s business will have to reconcile this constraint with its future growth plans…
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