BP Hit With £47m Bill For Gulf Oil Spill


    Sarah Gordon, Sky News Online

    BP has been hit with a £47m bill by the US government for damage caused by the Gulf of Mexico rig explosion and resulting oil leak.

    The figure covers expenses incurred so far but will not be the final amount demanded from the oil company.

    The company has already had its credit status downgraded as a result of the spill as well as more than £40bn knocked off its value.

    With the oil slick moving ever closer to the Florida coastline, the bill is just the latest in a long line of hurdles BP is still trying to overcome.

    White House spokesman Robert Gibbs confirmed the amount demanded by the government is to reimburse taxpayers as part of the Oil Pollution Act.

    The Act was passed in 1990 after the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska and was designed to force big oil companies to take responsibility for their accidents.

    Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama said in an interview with CNN’s Larry King on Thursday night that he was “furious” at the situation in the Gulf of Mexico and again vowed to hold BP accountable.

    “Somebody didn’t think through the consequences of their actions,” he said.

    “This is imperiling an entire way of life and an entire region for potentially years.”

    Despite BP‘s growing desperation to stop the flow of oil from the undersea well, it has reportedly turned down an offer of help from Titanic and Avatar film director James Cameron.

    The movie legend is considered an expert in the field of deep-sea robotics.

    He has developed equipment to explore both the Titanic and the wreck of the German battleship Bismark located a mile deeper than the BP well.

    “Over the last few weeks I’ve watched, as we all have, with growing horror and heartache, watching what’s happening in the Gulf and thinking those morons don’t know what they’re doing,” said Mr Cameron.

    But although the British company has “graciously” refused his help, the US Environmental Protection Agency is not of the same opinion.

    It has invited Mr Cameron to discuss potential solutions to the oil spill at its headquarters.

    Meanwhile, BP engineers have managed to cut through the wellhead pipe of the Deepwater Horizon rig.

    They are planning to cap the opening and pump oil to the surface in its most recent attempt to stem the flow.

    Even if the latest plan works, it is expected that oil will continue leaking into the sea until two relief wells offer a permanent solution to the problem when they are completed in August.



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