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Last Updated: Monday, 3 July 2006, 07:36 GMT 08:36 UK
BP raises refinery blast pay-out
Aerial shot of the Texas City oil refinery
BP is facing criminal charges for the blast at its Texas City refinery
Oil giant BP has set aside an extra $500m (270m) to cover claims from the victims of an explosion at one of its refineries in Texas last year.

It has already allocated $700m for the March 2005 blast, which killed 15 people and injured 180.

BP has also suspended three traders from its US natural gas business.

Regulators allege its BP Products North America subsidy artificially forced up prices by buying up huge propane stocks only to withhold them from the market.

Boosting production

In a trading update, BP said its oil and gas production levels would fall 2.5% for the second quarter compared with the same period in 2005.

It expected to pump 4.01 million barrels of oil and gas per day, compared with 4.112 million barrels last year.

Last February, BP said that it expected to produce between 4.1 and 4.2 million barrels a day this year, compared with 4.01 million in 2005 and 3.99 million in 2004.

It wants to boost production by 4% a year up to 2010.

Production levels are expected to rise in the second half of 2006, when BP hopes to have its hurricane-damaged Thunder Horse platform in the Gulf of Mexico up and running.

BP said it had started the "phased re-commissioning" of the explosion-hit Texas City oil refinery in March.




SEE ALSO
BP accused of price manipulation
29 Jun 06 |  Business
BP boss predicts oil price fall
11 Jun 06 |  Business
BP faces Alaska oil spill probe
08 Jun 06 |  Business
BP could face US criminal charges
12 Dec 05 |  Business
Russian cold snap hits BP output
05 Apr 06 |  Business
Oil price surge boosts BP profits
07 Feb 06 |  Business

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