BP Wants Help With Gulf Cleanup Costs

BP says the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico already has cost it more than $3 billion, and that doesn't include the giant escrow fund it has established to pay claims. The company also says it wants some of its corporate partners in the well to pay for part of the cleanup.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, host:

To BP news now: The company says the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has already cost it more than $3 billion. It also says it wants some of its corporate partners in the well to pay for part of the cleanup.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

JIM ZARROLI: BP released updated figures yesterday for how much the Gulf spill has cost it, and the numbers keep rising. So far, the company says it has paid $3.12 billion to contain the spill, drill a relief well and issue grants to states that have been affected.

The company says it's paid about 47,000 claims to people hurt by the spill, and that's almost half of the claims that have been submitted so far. More than 44,000 personnel are taking part in the cleanup, as well as 6,500 vessels and 113 aircraft. The company has also laid down 550 miles of containment boom to keep oil from reaching the shore.

The cost figures released yesterday don't include the $20 billion escrow fund that BP agreed to set up to pay for claims related to the spill.

BP wants its partners in the well to help pay part of the costs it's incurred. They include: Mitsui Company of Japan, which owns 10 percent of the venture. They also include Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum, which has a 25 percent stake. Anadarko officials have argued that they shouldn't be liable for the cleanup costs because of BP's quote, "reckless decisions and actions," unquote.

Yesterday, the company said it was reviewing BP's claims and assessing what its obligations are.

Jim Zarroli, NPR News.

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