BP says Gulf oil spill costs hit 2.35 billion dollars

25th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

BP has so far spent about 2.35 billion dollars (1.9 billion euros) in response to the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the company said on Friday.

"The cost of the response to date amounts to approximately 2.35 billion dollars, including the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to the Gulf states, claims paid, and federal costs," BP said in a statement.

The total costs, equivalent to 1.57 billion pounds, compared with a previous estimate of two billion dollars that was given on Monday.

The company, which agreed a 20-billion-dollar fund to pay claims after White House arm-twisting, added that it was "too early to quantify other potential costs and liabilities associated with the incident."

BP said that about 74,000 claims had been lodged, and that it had paid out a total of 126 million dollars, comprising 39,000 payments.

The troubled British energy giant has been trying to contain the oil spill ever since an explosion on its Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 20 killed 11 people. The blast also sparked an enormous oil leak.

BP has faced intense political pressure from Washington over the spill, which is the worst man-made environmental disaster in US history.

The group has faced spiralling costs for cleaning up the spill and compensating affected residents and businesses.

The spilling crude has so far contaminated more than 125 miles of Louisiana coast, shutting down fishing operations and triggering long-term fears for the region's already endangered wildlife.

© 2010 AFP

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