BP oil spill costs hit 9.5 billion dollars

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British oil giant BP has said the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster has cost it about 9.5 billion dollars (7.3 billions euros) so far.

US officials finally declared BP's broken well in the Gulf of Mexico "dead" on Sunday, five months after a deadly oil rig explosion set off one of the costliest and largest environmental disasters ever.

"The cost of the response (up) to September 17 amounts to approximately 9.5 billion dollars, including the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, static kill and cementing, grants to the Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs," BP said in a statement issued late Sunday.

The group also repeated that it had agreed in June to create a 20-billion-dollar compensation fund for residents affected by the tragedy.

The April 20 spill was triggered when an explosion ripped through the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and sinking the huge offshore platform two days later. The flow of oil into the sea was not fully stemmed until July 15.

BP has forecast that the environmental catastrophe will cost it a total of about 32.2 billion dollars, after pushing the group into a record 16.9-billion-dollar loss in the second quarter of the year.

© 2010 AFP

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