OIL giant BP has revealed the cost of the devastating slick in the Gulf of Mexico had cost it a staggering £235m.
The cost of the mammoth operation looks set to spiral far higher than some analysts had predicted.
BP said in a statement yesterday the figure included the cost of spill response, containment, relief well drilling, payments to the Gulf Coast States to speed up their response plans, settlements and federal costs.
However, the final bill is likely to be much higher as the well which caused the leak is still pumping at least 5,000 barrels per day of crude into the sea.
Fishermen’s groups have lodged lawsuits for damages and others including people in the tourism industry have complained of losses due to the spill. BP said it would cover all “legitimate” claims for compensation.
BP owns 65 per cent of the well. Anadarko Petroleum owns 25 per cent and Japan’s Mitsui owns 10 per cent. All are liable for costs on a proportionate basis.
Analysts’ predictions for total spill costs have varied wildly, from a few hundred million dollars to over $14bn, including the loss of the $1bn rig which exploded while drilling the well.
Efforts to place the dome over the main leak point of the MC252 well were suspended at the weekend as a build up of ice crystals prevented it from being set in place.