BP shares surge on US deal talk

Shares in BP surged more than 9 per cent yesterday on hopes it is about to seal deals with the US oil and gas group Apache to sell up to $10bn (£6.7bn) of assets as it grapples with the costs of its spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The company, which was hoping to attach a new larger containment cap to the leaking well last night, declined to comment on the talks, which are understood to cover stakes in its Alaskan oil fields. The asset-sale talks come as scrutiny of BP ramps up, with President Barack Obama's independent commission holding its first public hearings in New Orleans.