Press Association 
July 5, 2010
BP has said it has now spent more than $3 billion (£1.9 billion) in attempts to stop an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico and to settle damage claims.
The oil company said it is has spent $3.12 billion (£2 billion) so far in responding to the spill, attempting to contain oil, paying claims and reimbursing the US and local governments.
BP said it has spent $147 million settling 47,000 claims for payment – or about half of the claims submitted so far. The spill began April 20 with an explosion and fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon platform, killing 11 workers.
Meanwhile, an oil skimmer is being put through its paces in the Gulf of Mexico, but bad weather means it may be longer than first hoped before officials know if it can work full-time sucking crude from the sea.
The Taiwanese skimmer dubbed “A Whale” was able to show off its flexibility during a weekend test in a 25-mile-square patch of water just north of the site where blast started the worst oil spill in Gulf history.