Estimated costs for the oil spill — containment, cleanup and the economic effects on businesses — are expected to exceed the $10 billion proposed for a recovery fund.
"For now there needs to be more certainty to the BP pledge, and this approach is the first step in determining whether the BP pledge is going to be met in full," Dorgan said.
Legislation may be needed if BP is unwilling to voluntarily help create the account.
So far, BP has paid $48 million on 18,000 claims and $1.25 billion for all costs associated with the spill. That amount excludes $360 million for the Louisiana barrier islands construction project, according to BP's website.
BP made its first payment of $60 million for the barrier island project on Monday.