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BP to resume dividend payouts next year

As part of a deal with the US government, the company had stopped paying dividends after the DeepWat

BP's board will meet soon to discuss restoring its dividend payout, the company's new chief executive Bob Dudley said.

The company had stopped paying dividends after the DeepWater Horizon disaster. The suspension of dividends was part of a deal with the US government.

Payouts could be restarted as soon as the first quarter of 2011, Dudley said. He claimed that the business was doing well to afford the payout.

Dudley is to take over the CEO's position from Tony Hayward on Friday.

BP's shares climbed after the comments were made. The shares were, however, 30 per cent lower than before the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The company also said that it had agreed to pay a $15bn fine for environmental law violations at its Texas City refinery. The fine is for violations of the Clean Air Act and gas leaks in mid-2005.

The resumption of payouts would benefit British pension funds. BP's share of British payouts was 15 per cent last year.