The Straits Times
Published on Nov 30, 2012

Lifting BP ban will be more than simple agreement: US source


WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - United States (US) officials were surprised that BP Plc suggested an agreement would soon be ready to lift a suspension imposed this week on the company's obtaining new federal contracts, a government source said on Thursday.

"It caught us off guard," the source said. "It's not the case that there is an administrative agreement that is ready to go out the door right now," the source said, adding that any administrative agreement will only be part of a several-step process that could take months.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday suspended BP from obtaining new US contracts over its "lack of business integrity" following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident, that killed 11 men and caused the biggest ever US offshore oil spill.

BP responded with a statement indicating that the EPA had informed the company it was preparing an administrative agreement that would "effectively resolve and lift this temporary suspension," and that the EPA said the draft agreement would be available soon.