BP revealed on Sept 3 that the devastating Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster had a sharp rise in payments in the last month. "The cost of the response to date amounts to approximately eight 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.
The latest figure compared with the previous estimate of $6.1 billion that was given last month.
BP has already forecast that the worst environmental catastrophe in U.S. history will cost the group a total of about $32.2 billion, after pushing it into a record $16.9 billion loss in the second quarter.
The company repeated on Sept. 3 that it had agreed in June to set up a $20 billion compensation fund for residents affected by the spill.
BP added that operations were underway to replace the Deepwater Horizon's damaged blowout preventer (BOP) -- a large piece of equipment that failed to stop the disaster. On Sept. 2, the group had removed the massive cap which had stemmed the flow of oil from its ruptured well deep in the Gulf of Mexico in a key step toward killing the well once and for all, officials said.
The damaged BOP will be raised to the surface to be examined and held as evidence in an official investigation, following the removal of the cap.
The ruptured Macondo well was plugged with heavy drilling fluid and then sealed it with cement last month, but the so-called "bottom kill" operation to permanently seal the well was delayed until the blowout preventer is replaced. The "bottom kill" involves intercepting the crippled well with a relief well, which then pumps heavy drilling oil and cement into the oil well to permanently plug it.
BP said that it hopes the relief well will reach the damaged well by around mid-September, depending on weather conditions.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010