Nearly $150 million paid in oil spill damage claims

Payments to businesses affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill are nearing $150 million as BP’s costs eclipsed $3 billion. 

Nearly 100,000 damage claims have been filed — about half of those have been processed and none have been denied so far, according to figures released late Thursday by federal officials. 

Total claims were more than $148.7 million, paid to approximately 47,000 out of 96,302 claims filed, federal officials reported.

The Small Business Administration has approved 142 economic injury assistance loans, totaling more than $10.9 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast region affected by the oil spill, according to federal officials. 

The SBA also has granted 554 loan deferments with an estimated value of $3.1 million each month in payments.