BP eyes showdown with U.S. govt on liability: BP source

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil major BP believes it may be heading for a showdown with the White House over ever- increasing demands that it cover costs related to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a BP source said on Wednesday.

“At some point a line has to be drawn,” the source said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told a Senate hearing he would ask BP to repay the salaries of any workers laid off because of the six-month moratorium on deepwater exploratory drilling imposed by the U.S. government after the spill.

BP has said it will pay for the clean-up and direct damages to those affected by the spill, such as fisherman. But the source said the moratorium was a government decision, and so the costs related to it were a different matter.

The company declined comment.

Salazar’s comments helped push BP’s New York-listed American Depositary Receipts down 15 percent on Wednesday.