Business

BP shares rise 3% as Bob Dudley starts as boss

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Media captionThe incoming chief executive of BP, Bob Dudley, tells the BBC's business editor, Robert Peston, about his new job

Shares in the oil giant BP closed 3% higher on Bob Dudley's first day as its chief executive.

The price was boosted by comments made by Mr Dudley suggesting the company may restart divided payments to shareholders.

BP also named a list of Gulf of Mexico oil fields whose revenue it will use to swell its $20bn (£12.6bn) fund for victims of the oil spill.

The fields include Thunder Horse, Atlantis and Mad Dog.

Its shares rose 2.7p to close at 440.5p, their highest level since early June.

BP also said on Friday that the total bill for fighting the spill and compensating victims hit $11.2bn (£7bn) this week.

The company is planning to sell $30bn of assets.

Seymour Pierce oil analyst, Alan Sinclair, said pledging income from the oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico itself was a smart move.

He said: "It's quite a clever thing that BP's done... (it) should suggest to the US administration not to in any way meddle with these facilities."

Safety first

There have been concerns that the US could ban BP from future drilling after lawmakers in July voted to pass an amendment to a bill that would prevent BP from acquiring new exploration leases after the explosion at its Macondo well in April.

One of the first jobs tackled by Bob Dudley, who took over as chief executive from Tony Hayward, was to form a new unit to oversee safety across the company following the oil disaster.

The oil giant says the division will have "sweeping powers", including the authority to intervene in operations to uphold safety standards.

BP hopes the new unit, along with a number of other organisational changes, will help rebuild trust in the company.

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