Britain drafting contingency plans for BP: report

Britain is drafting contingency plans should beleaguered energy giant BP collapse, the Times reported in its Tuesday edition.

The paper said officials from the Department of Business and the Treasury were holding talks about BP's future.

The report comes amid talk the oil major is seeking a strategic investor to fend off takeover bids.

The Treasury declined to comment. The Department of Business could not be immediately reached for comment.

A person familiar with the talks told the Times the government was preparing for "any eventuality." The paper did not give details of the plans under discussion.

In a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the G20 summit last month British Prime Minister David Cameron stressed the importance of making sure BP has a b future despite the clean-up costs of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

British business and shareholder groups have been clamoring for Cameron to take action amid fears the environmental catastrophe could hit pensioners hard.

BP shares, a staple holding of many UK pension funds, have almost halved since the spill in the Gulf of Mexico began in April.

[Source: Reuters, London, 05Jul10]

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