BP Stock Hits 13-Year Low Following Gulf Oil Spill

It’s probably not terribly surprising that BP’s stock hit a 13-year low this morning—unless, apparently, you’re BP. The company put out a statement last night saying that it was “not aware of any reason which justifies this share price movement.” Well, the Wall Street Journal is aware of some reasons, most notably the ever-harsher rhetoric from US politicians, which surely bodes poorly for the company’s future US endeavors.

Tensions escalated sharply Wednesday when Mr. Obama's interior secretary, Ken Salazar, said he would demand that BP pay the lost wages of oil workers in the Gulf region idled because of the administration's order to halt new deepwater drilling for six months.

Those comments, and reports that the U.S. Justice Department was looking into BP's plan to pay a dividend, touched off a rout of BP's shares that sent the company's stock by Thursday morning to the lowest level in 13 years. BP shares rebounded slightly, closing down 6.6% at 365.5 pence in London.