British energy major BP today said it has spent nearly USD 8 billion as expenses related to the devastating Mexican Gulf oil spill, which much higher than last months intial estimate of USD 6 billion.
The spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which happened in April, not only resulted in huge financial liabilities for BP but also saw the ouster of its chief Tony Hayward.
"The cost of response to date amounts to approximately USD 8 billion, including the cost of the containment, spill response, relief well drilling, static kill and cementing, grants to the Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs," BP said in a statement it issued.
In early August, the energy giant had pegged the expenses related to the disaster at USD 6.1 billion. Buckling under pressure from the US government, BP in June had announced a USD 20 billion fund to meet obligations arising out of the oil spill.
The claims related to the oil spill are now being processed by an independent Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), which is headed by Ken Feinberg. He was appointed by the Obama administration.
Since August 23, GCCF has received over 42,000 claims and USD 38.5 million has been paid to settle more than 4,900 of those claims.
"Prior to the transfer to the GCCF (on August 23), BP had made 127,000 claims payments, totalling approximately USD 399 million," the statement said.
The disaster that happened on April 20 after an explosion in one of its oil wells in the Mexican Gulf, had claimed 11 lives. Nearly five million barrels of oil was estimated to have spilled into the sea before the leak from the well which was finally plugged on July 15.