Oil giant BP said today that the cost of tackling the Gulf of Mexico disaster had risen to $8bn so far.
The ruptured well has been shut since July 15 after pumping almost five million barrels of oil into the Gulf when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank in April.
BP this week began work to replace the rig’s blow-out preventer, which failed with disastrous consequences. The firm has paid out $428m in claims so far.
Provisions for the crisis sent BP crashing $17bn into the red for the April-June period – its first loss in 18 years.
The relief well which will seal the well permanently is likely to be completed in mid-September.