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BP says it will pay for Gulf spill's cleanup

BP PLC said that it will pay for all the cleanup costs from a ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico that could continue spewing crude for at least another week.

business Updated: May 04, 2010 03:14 IST

BP PLC said on Monday that it will pay for all the cleanup costs from a ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico that could continue spewing crude for at least another week.

The company posted a fact sheet on its website saying it took responsibility for the response to the Deepwater Horizon spill and would pay compensation for legitimate claims for property damage, personal injury and commercial losses.

"We are responsible, not for the accident, but we are responsible for the oil and for dealing with it and cleaning the situation up," chief executive Tony Hayward said today on ABC's "Good Morning America."

He said the equipment that failed on the rig and led to the spill belonged to owner Transocean Ltd., not BP, which operated the rig.

Guy Cantwell, a Transocean spokesman, responded by reading a statement without elaborating.

"We will await all the facts before drawing conclusions and we will not speculate," he said.

Meanwhile, Hayward said chemical dispersants seem to be having a significant impact in keeping oil from flowing to the surface, though he did not elaborate.

The update on the dispersants came as BP was preparing a system never tried nearly 1.6 kilometers under water to siphon away the geyser of crude from a blown-out well. However, the plan to lower 74-ton, concrete-and-metal boxes being built to capture the oil and siphon it to a barge waiting at the surface will need at least another six to eight days to get it in place.

That could spill at least another 3.8 million liters into the Gulf, on top of the roughly 9.8 million liters already estimated to have spilled since the April 20 blast.

Those numbers are based on the Coast Guard's estimates that 757,060 liters a day are spilling out, though officials have cautioned it's impossible to know exactly how much is leaking.

By comparison, the tanker Exxon Valdez spilled 42 million liters off the Alaska coast in 1989.

Officials also were trying to cap one of three leaks to make it easier to place the first box on the sea floor.

Crews continued to lay boom to try to keep the spill from reaching the shore, though choppy seas have made that difficult and rendered much of the oil-corraling gear useless.