BP has spent $6.1 billion in response to the huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill, it said on August 9, but the amount is set to spiral on expected massive compensation payouts.

The costs include spill response, relief well drilling, the "static kill" and cementing of the damaged well, grants to Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs.

BP has forecast that the disaster will cost a total of about $32.2 billion, after pushing the group into a $16.9 billion loss in the second quarter -- which was the biggest quarterly loss in British corporate history.

The disaster has forced out BP chief executive Tony Hayward, who was slammed by the media for his clumsy handling of the spill response.

The company is meanwhile seeking to sell $30 billion of assets over the next 18 months to help meet the clean-up bill.

An estimated 4.9 million barrels, more than 205 million gallons, spewed from BP's ruptured well in the 87 days from the beginning of the disaster until the leak was finally capped on July 15, the US government has said. About 800,000 barrels were captured by containment operations that syphoned oil from the gushing wellhead to ships on the surface.

Under the law, fines could be as much as $4,300 per barrel spilled, if negligence is proven. This means BP could theoretically face fines of up to $17.6 billion for the 4.1 million barrels that poured into the sea.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010