BP oil spill costs pass $6bn mark

A drillship burns off gas collected at the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill The leak was capped in the middle of July

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion has so far cost BP a total of $6.1bn (£3.8bn), the company has said.

The total includes the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, and cementing up of the damaged well.

The sum also includes grants to the Gulf states hit by the spill.

It also includes the $319m paid out in compensation to some of those affected by the spill.

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The firm said there were now 30,800 people working on the spill response.

Oil is no longer leaking into the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April.

"BP believes the static kill and cementing procedures have been successful," the company said.

An estimated 4.9 million barrels spilled from the damaged well in the 87 days from the beginning of the disaster until the leak was finally capped on July 15, the US government has said.

BP has yet to be drawn about what will happen to the oilfield after the damaged well is blocked. There is still a huge amount of oil in the reservoir deep under the seabed.

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