Government bills BP $100 million for oil spill response costs
The federal government has sent BP and other parties responsible for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill a fourth bill, this one for $99.7 million, to cover cleanup and containment costs the government has accrued.
As a responsible party, BP is financially responsible for all costs associated with the spill response, including efforts to stop the leak at its source, reduce the spread of oil, protect the shoreline and mitigate damages, as well as long-term recovery efforts to ensure that all individuals and communities impacted by the spill are made whole, the government said in a news release Tuesday.
The bill will cover the expenses of two dozen federal agencies involved in the spill response, and future expenses will be billed to BP and other responsible parties in subsequent invoices, the government release said.
The federal government added that BP and the other responsible parties have paid the three previous bills, totaling $122.3 million, in full.
BP has announced that it has spent more than $3 billion to date responding to the oil spill, which continues to gush millions of gallons of oil every day a mile beneath the surface. Previous efforts to stop the spill have either failed or have been partially successful.
BP has replaced the cap on the gushing wellhead with a new, tighter fitting receptacle that could allow the oil to be completely stopped at the surface if successful. BP plans to close the vents on the cap gradually, allowing pressure to build inside the cap. The company said today that it may take 2 days to fully determine whether the cap is strong enough to withstand the mounting pressure.
The company is also drilling two relief well columns that involve plugging the origin with tons of cement pumped from the surface. The procedure is the only way the oil can be permanently stopped.
None of these procedures nor the government’s latest bill will be drawn from the $20 billion equity fund BP agreed to establish to mitigate financial hardships faced by Gulf Coast residents and businesses.
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