By Vicki Needham - 06/01/10 04:27 PM EDT
As BP tries to stop oil from leaking into Gulf waters, the company's costs have soared to nearly $1 billion, including paid claims to coastal businesses.
More than $40 million — $25 million for damages and $15 million to promote tourism — has been spent on 15,000 claims for damages as the spill's costs soared to $990 million, the company announced Tuesday on its website. About 30,000 damages claims have been submitted and the oil giant has received more than 110,000 calls to its help lines.
The total cost in the Gulf of Mexico efforts includes spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs.
The "top kill" procedure to stop oil flow failed over the Memorial Day weekend, BP officials announced Saturday. They will now attempt to place a cap on the pipe to stem the flow. If it works, it is not expected to completely stop oil from leaking into the water.
BP is working on two relief wells — one started May 2 and a second May 16 — that probably won't be finished until August but would provide the best chance for stopping the gushing oil.