Falling BP shares create ‘opportunity’

The head of Libya’s National Oil Corporation has said troubled oil giant BP was an “opportunity” for investors, after the company’s shares fell by half since April.

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“BP currently represent an opportunity for any investor,” NOC president Chokri Ghanem said.

“It is a recommendation that could be worthwhile for Libya or any other country or investor,” said Ghanem without specifying if the North African OPEC-member country could invest in BP.

But Ghanem, who was being asked to comment rumours that Libya would be interested in buying a stake in the troubled oil giant, said he was merely giving an “economist’s point of view”

“This has nothing to do, by near or far, with decisions concerning Libyan investment,” he said.

Meanwhile the British oil giant said that chief executive Tony Hayward was visiting “our important partners” amid speculation it was seeking help to cope with the soaring spill costs in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Our chief executive is on a general series of visits to our important partners,” a spokesman said, declining to confirm reports he has gone on from a trip to Azerbaijan to visit Abu Dhabi.

The company is reportedly seeking the support of foreign sovereign wealth funds in the wake of a collapsing share price.

Reports say securing such support could stave off a possible takeover bid for BP from a major competitor such as Exxon, Shell or Total.

BP’s share price has dropped by more than 50 percent since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig it leased sank on April 22, two days after a blast that killed 11 workers.

But BP insisted that it can cope with soaring oil spill costs without asking shareholders for cash, amid reports that Britain is working on a crisis plan if the company is sunk by the disaster.