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BP’s Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Response Costs Rise to $8 Billion

Florida May Seek Billion-Dollar BP Payment
Florida would ask London-based BP to pay it separately from the $20 billion fund the company set up to handle claims so the state doesn’t have to compete with its own citizens. Photographer: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

BP Plc said the cost of its response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the worst in U.S. history, has reached about $8 billion.

The company removed the capping stack on top of the Deepwater Horizon blowout preventer yesterday after plugging the well with cement last month. Depending on weather conditions, a relief well is expected to intercept the damaged MC252 well around the middle of the month, London-based BP said in a statement today.

“Since July 15, no new oil has flowed into the Gulf of Mexico from the MC252 well,” BP said. “No volumes of oily liquid have been recovered since July 21 and the last controlled burn operation occurred on July 20.”

BP and the U.S. authorities need to recover the blowout preventer, which has been subpoenaed by federal investigators after it failed to stop a surge of oil and natural gas from the well. The April 20 explosion on board the Deepwater Horizon killed 11 workers and caused an estimated 4.9 million barrels of crude to leak 40 miles (64 kilometers) off the Louisiana coast.

Replacing the blowout preventer will preserve evidence and prevent further oil leaks when BP injects cement into the bottom of the well, National Incident Commander Thad Allen said earlier this week.

The failed blowout preventer will be replaced with a different one, BP said.

Approximately 28,400 personnel, more than 4,050 vessels, and dozens of aircraft remain engaged in the response effort, BP said today.

The company said in July it would increase asset sales to raise as much as $30 billion over 18 months to help pay for cleanup costs and liabilities from the environmental disaster, which cost Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward his job.

After a meeting at the White House with President Barack Obama in June, BP agreed to create an independent $20 billion fund to help victims of the Gulf spill.

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