BP oil spill could trigger drop in green investment, expert warns

by Search Gate staff. Published Mon 14 Jun 2010 14:33
Gulf of Mexico oil spill seen by space

The BP oil spill will have major long-term implications for UK businesses and consumers, resulting in reduced investment in cleaner energy, leading analysts Saturn Energy said today.

Saturn Energy revealed that the spill in the Gulf of Mexico had already reached the equivalent of the UK’s total daily oil demand – 2 million barrels.

Managing Director John McShane stressed that the spill threatened to impact on fuel prices as BP tried to recoup lost revenue, invest in technology to prevent a repeat and comply with any tighter regulations which are imposed.

He also revealed that the cost of the clean-up could also have an impact on BP’s investment plans for cleaner energy.

Mr McShane said that if oil has been flowing at the top end of the current estimate – 40,000 barrels per day – a total of 2m barrels will have flooded into the Gulf to date - making it eight times worse than the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989.

In August, the first of two relief wells is expected to be completed, which BP hopes will mean the leaking reservoir can be plugged permanently.

He said: “There is no doubt that this disaster will have major implications, whether that be through tighter regulations, reduced investment or an increase in oil and energy prices.

“BP expects to make large revenues out of alternative energy such as solar power.

“But the cost of this spill could easily impact on that investment and reduce the amount of money it spends on cleaner energy sources, which would help safeguard the environment in the long term and provide cleaner transport solutions.”

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