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BP Dividends to Be Reinstated: New CEO

BP, which is in the midst of selling off $30 billion in assets, hopes to reinstate dividends early in 2011, its incoming CEO Bob Dudley, told CNBC Thursday.

“We are well into a $25 billion to $30 billion divestment program,” said Dudley, who takes charge of the company on Friday. “We’ve received more than $10 billion so far.

“We’re going to use this as an opportunity to reset our portfolio at dividend levels going forward and get the company back on its feet. We are going to meet obligations in the US and put together what I hope will be a more compelling case for shareholders to invest in the company.”

BP's board suspended dividend payments in the second and third quarters and canceled the first-quarter payment due in June, following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, because of political pressure.

Dudley added that $20 billion of the $30 billion BP put aside for claims and expenses related to the gulf spill is now in an escrow account secured with company assets. He said that the company has also put aside additional monies out of its cash flow accounts.

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