Lex

BP's cash drive

BP's potential oil-spill liabilities are estimated to be a little over $30bn. The company has embarked on an extraordinary cash drive to fund them – and more. On Monday it raised $5bn in loans backed by future revenues. Add to that three periods of suspended dividends worth about $7.8bn, asset sales which could total $30bn, and $16bn in undrawn debt facilities and BP has access to about $59bn. And this is before the $30bn or so in operating cash the company will generate this year. So why is BP raising so much cash? Luke Templeman analyses the oil company's shift to a more cautious future.