Disclaimer: I am in no way trying to diminish the environmental damages to the Gulf Coast. In fact, I am more than outraged about it. However, remember that on this blog we play the role of cold, Ayn Rand-like, cynical capitalists.
Whenever there is a company just getting its ass handed to it (that's a technical term) like BP (BP) is, there is always some appeal in possibly nibbling at it. Indeed, BP has gotten absolutely slaughtered over the past several weeks.
Compared to the other integrated oil companies, like Exxon Mobil (XOM) and ConocoPhillips (COP), it has been downright ugly.
That being said, it is unclear exactly what the damages to BP will be. If the losses will be only in the range of a few billion dollars, then they're very cheap right now. If, on the other hand, they get hit with $40, $50, or $60 billion in damages and punitive fines, then they're not so cheap. Given that this is an election year and politicians love issues like this because they make for great righteous indignation and extreme sweeping measures, it's anyone's guess.
I personally say no to this because I am risk averse and I don't like the size of the unknowns here. There is the possibility that BP is barred from future exploration and development, for example. However, disagreement is what makes a market. What do you all think?