Embattled BP chief executive Tony Hayward has reassured pension schemes the firm's obligations will be met but fails to guarantee dividends.
The statement, issued today, followed warnings that dividend payments could suffer as a result of spiralling costs following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster (PP Online, June 2).
The company says it will make an announcement on the issue in July.
Hayward said: "We will meet our obligations to our employees, and to our other stakeholders, including hundreds of thousands of shareholders, and millions more savers in mutual and pension funds, who rely on their investment in BP as part of their financial security and in many cases their retirement income.
"The financial consequences of this incident will undoubtedly be severe, but BP is a strong company and we have weathered many storms before."
However, BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg was unable to guarantee dividend payments to shareholders.
"We will do all we can to protect and grow the value of the company in which you have invested," he said.
"We fully understand the importance of our dividend to our shareholders. Future decisions on the quarterly dividend will be made by the board, as they always have been, on the basis of the circumstances at the time. All factors will be considered and the decision taken in the long term interests of the shareholders."
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