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BP shares down slightly on US contract suspension

NEW YORK (AP) -- BP PLC shares dropped nearly 1 percent Wednesday after the Obama administration temporarily barred the British oil company from new contracts with the U.S. government.

The suspension resulted from the company's "lack of business integrity" and criminal proceedings stemming from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010, the Environmental Protection agency said. BP plans to issue a response later Wednesday.

BP shares fell 435 cents to $41 in morning trading, after dropping nearly 2 percent earlier in the session. They were around $60 in April 2010 when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion killed 11 workers set off the biggest offshore oil spill in the nation's history. Although BP settled criminal charges two weeks ago, the chance for large civil penalties still overhangs the share price.