BP agrees to support Louisiana tourism

BP has agreed to provide millions of dollars in compensation to Louisiana as the American state battles to recover from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The oil giant has agreed to spend some $78 million to test and promote Louisiana seafood and boost tourism following the disaster.

Pictured: Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal was photographed holding an oil ‘tar ball’ on May 7th this year

Spending was confirmed by state governor Bobby Jindal earlier today following meetings with BP executives.

Jindal also confirmed there are plans to use $140 million already committed to the state by the oil giant to beef up sand berms that were built off the Louisiana coast to block oil.

The intent is to not only fortify the berms but convert them into permanent barrier islands to protect the coast.

Critics, including some coastal scientists and federal regulators, say the work is ill-conceived and would damage the environment.

Jindal disagrees and has made the sand berms a cornerstone to his strategy to fight the oil spill.

“Our most fundamental goals for revitalizing Louisiana have been to restore our coast and certify that our Louisiana seafood is safe – and today, we are marking tremendous progress toward those goals,” said governor Jindal.

“Louisiana is home to some of the richest and most diverse seafood in the world, and with today’s announcement, and the hard work of those in the Louisiana seafood industry, we know our seafood will continue to be the best in the world.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Return to Profit

BP announced today a strong operating performance across the group helped it return to profit in the third quarter of 2010 despite an additional pre-tax charge of $7.7 billion in respect of the Gulf of Mexico spill.

Headline replacement cost profit for the third quarter was $1.8 billion, compared with a loss of $17 billion in the previous quarter and a profit of $5 billion in the third quarter of 2009.

“These results demonstrate that BP is well on track for recovery after the tragic accident on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and subsequent oil spill,” commented group chief executive Bob Dudley.

“We have made good progress during the quarter. This strong operating performance shows the determination of everyone at BP to move the company forward and rebuild confidence after the terrible events of the past six months.”

Florida

BP made a similar announcement last week in Florida, where $20 million is being offered for seafood inspections and marketing over the next three years.

Spokesman Daren Beaudo also added the company was in talks with officials in Mississippi and Alabama about giving those states more help.

BP has paid out $87 million to Gulf Coast states for tourism promotion.