HOUSTON, June 28 (Xinhua) -- British oil giant BP on Monday said the cost of cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has reached 2.65 billion U.S. dollars.
The bill includes the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to the four Gulf states, claims paid, and federal costs, BP said in a statement.
Earlier this month, BP agreed to create a 20-billion-dollar escrow fund to pay for damage claims related to the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
BP said that to date, more than 80,000 claims have been submitted and almost 41,000 payments have been made, totaling more than 128 million dollars.
Meanwhile, the company said the construction of two relief wells, which are considered the best hope of stopping the oil leaking from the ruptured underwater well, are on track.
The first of the two relief wells has reached a depth of 16,546 feet (5,043 meters) and the leaking well was detected in a test called "ranging" run, BP said. A second similar test was also done.
"Drilling and ranging operations will continue over the next few weeks as the well progresses towards the target intercept depth of approximately 18,000 feet (5,486 meters)," BP said.
"Once intercept has occurred, operations are expected to begin to kill the flow of oil and gas from the reservoir by pumping specialized heavy fluids down the relief well," it said.