BP's oil clean-up costs exceed $3 bln

British oil giant BP has spent more than 3 billion U.S. dollars to clean up the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the company said Monday.

The figure includes the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to the four Gulf states, claims paid, and federal costs, BP said in a statement on its website.

The London-based oil major said that of the nearly 95,000 claims that have been submitted, more than 47,000 payments have been made, totaling almost 147 million dollars.

Updating on its oil containment efforts in the Gulf of Mexico, BP said its two containment systems continue to collect oil and gas flowing from the Deepwater Horizon's failed blow-out prevent ( BOP).

On Saturday, a total of approximately 25,198 barrels of oil were collected or flared by the two systems and 57 million cubic feet of gas were flared, the company said.

The U.S. government scientists estimate that 30,000 to 65,000 barrels of oil are gushing into the Gulf of Mexico every day.

However, the company said, work on a third containment system, a floating riser containment system, was delayed by heightened sea states caused by Hurricane Alex as it passed through the Gulf of Mexico.

The additional containment system is expected to start first operation by the end of this week, the company said.

The spill, the worst in U.S. history, began April 20 with an explosion and fire aboard the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon drilling rig off the Louisiana coast, killing 11 workers.

[Source: Xinahua, Houston, 05Jul10]

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