BP's Gulf oil disaster costs hit $8 billion and counting

British oil giant, BP's costs to deal with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico soared to $8 billion, an increase of $2 billion in August as Europe's largest oil producer gropes for a solution to cap the money flowing from its coffers.

The cost of the response to date amounts to approximately $8 billion, 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, said the London-based BP in a statement today.

Approximately 28,400 personnel, more than 4,050 vessels, and dozens of aircraft continue to remain involved in responding to the aftermath of the oil spill, which has become the world's worst oil spill after the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster in Alaska in 1989.

BP's woes started on 20 April when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank, killing 11 workers and sinking the huge offshore platform two days later. The blown-out oil well spewed between 90.4 and 178.6 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

It took BP 86 days to stem the flow of the oil of the world's longest-running deep sea oil spill. (See: BP caps Gulf of Mexico oil spill) 

After posting a record loss $16.9-billion in the second quarter, BP forecasted that the cost of the oil spill will cost the company around $32.2 billion.

The company once again said that it had agreed in June to set up a $20 billion escrow account to satisfy certain obligations arising from the spill.

It said that on 23 August, the processing of all claims related to the spill was transferred to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) and since then, over 42,000 claims have been submitted to the GCCF, and over 4,900 claims were taken care by paying $38.5 million.
Prior to the transfer to the GCCF, BP had made 127,000 claims payments, totaling approximately $399 million.

In relation to the status of the oil well, BP said that since 15 July, no new oil has flowed into the Gulf of Mexico from the well. No volumes of oily liquid have been recovered since July 21 and the last controlled burn operation occurred on 20 July.