BP racks up $760m bill on Gulf oil spill; prepares for 'top kill'

24 May 2010 10:47  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--UK energy giant BP said on Monday it will conduct a "top kill" operation "in a few days" to completely plug the ruptured oil well at the Gulf of Mexico but with some reservations on the success of its deployment.

The company said it had so far shelled out $760m (€608m) for the clean-up and containment operations of the Gulf oil spill, which have been going on for more than a month now. The figure was 15% higher than last week's estimate of $625m.

Oil has been leaking out of the underwater well off the coast of Louisiana since 20 April, when BP's Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank.

The “top kill” operation, which involves injection of heavy drilling fluids into the well, has “significant uncertainties and that it was not possible to assure its success or to put a definite timescale on its deployment”, BP said.

Most of the equipment needed for the operation was already on site and that preparations were ongoing, with deployment likely in a few days, it added. BP previously said that it was hoping to launch the operation on 26 May.

A tube that BP installed to collect oil gushing out of the well was operating at an extraction rate of between 1,360 bbls/day to 3,000 bbls/day, with gas extraction at 4m-17m cubic feet/day from the period 17-23 May, the company said.

($1 = €0.80)

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By: Nurluqman Suratman

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