Factbox: Possible economic hit of Gulf oil spill

(BestGrowthStock) – An oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico washed up to coastal Louisiana wildlife and seafood areas on Friday as the U.S. government struggled to avert what could become one of the nation’s worst ecological disasters.

Following are some of the estimated costs from the spill as well as its impact on share prices and markets.

CLEAN UP COSTS

– Fitch’s Energy Team estimates containment and clean-up costs could reach $2 billion to $3 billion.

– BP Plc’s Chief Executive Tony Hayward said the company would clean up the mess and compensate those affected. Transocean owned and operated the rig that exploded and sank last week, causing the spill. BP hired Swiss-based rig company Transocean Ltd to run the rig and oversee the project.

– “We are taking full responsibility for the spill … We are going to be very, very aggressive in all of that,” he told Reuters on Friday.

OIL COMPANIES

– Shares of oil services companies tumbled on Friday in the aftermath of the spill. BP is down around 14 percent and Transocean down 20 percent since the rig explosion on April 20.

– Shrimp fishermen in Louisiana have filed a class-action lawsuit against BP, Transocean, Halliburton and Cameron, accusing them of negligence.

FISHERIES/TOURISM

– The cost to the fishing industry in Louisiana could be $2.5 billion, while the impact on tourism along Florida’s Gulf coast could be $3 billion, Neil McMahon, analyst at investment firm Bernstein, said in a research note on Friday.

– Omega Protein, the world’s largest producer of omega-3 fish oil, relies heavily on a Gulf fishery, and its share price extended Thursday’s sharp losses on Friday morning, losing another nine percent to $5.40.

MARKETS

– Analysts have said the spill could be a supportive factor for U.S. crude futures, but negative for Brent if it began to disrupt oil imports in the U.S. Gulf.

Oil prices rose on Friday, heading for a third straight monthly gain, driven by expectations of global economic recovery and hopes of a bailout package to help Greece avoid debt default.

Money

(Source: Reuters)

Factbox: Possible economic hit of Gulf oil spill