Obama puts boot into BP

A WHITE House spokesman yesterday promised to keep a “boot on the throat” of oil giant BP as chief executive Tony Hayward met with Washington officials to discuss ways to stop a worsening oil leak from spreading further.

The British energy giant said it will foot the bill for the clean up of the oil spill, which is estimated to come in at $6m (£3.93m), a day.

Hayward, brought in to improve BP’s safety record after an oil refinery disaster in Texas, gave several interviews to US TV stations.

The bill is already rising, according to BP, as the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico currently spans 30 miles, while an estimated 200,000 gallons of crude oil continues to leak into the water every day.

In a statement, the group said: “BP takes responsibility for responding to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. We will clean it up. BP has established a robust process to manage claims resulting from the Deepwater Horizon incident.”

BP will also face multiple claims for commercial losses, property damage and personal injury as a result of the spill, of which it said it is committed to pay.

But the group will have to dig into its own pockets to pay damages because it is self-insured and does not have indemnity coverage.

The news comes as Hayward met yesterday with the US Interior and Homeland Security secretaries and other administration officials to discuss how BP will control the continuing leak.

Last night it said efforts to control the leak had failed to date.

President Barack Obama, who visited Louisiana, one of the areas affected by the disaster, laid the cost of cleaning up the spill on BP’s shoulders.