It is a question I have previously entertained, with disagreement from Karl. I would say subsequent developments are increasing rather than decreasing the still slim probability that BP will get, or seek, a bailout. This is from the New York Times today, emphasis mine:

Kenneth R. Feinberg, the administrator of the $20 billion fund to address economic losses from the spill, recently said in an interview on Fox News that a BP bankruptcy would be a “disaster for the people in the gulf” and is “not an option.”

Ian Williams, a bankruptcy lawyer at the firm Bryan Cave in Britain, was adamant that bankruptcy was out of the question.

“BP does not need to reorganize its business because it is solvent,” he said, adding that the global importance of the company and its stock made it “too big to fail.”

I recognize that phrase. If they seek a bailout and don’t get one, will the reason be cost benefit or emotion? I bet the latter.