BP announced today that it expects it will have to spend $450 million to contain and clean up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Reuters reports that's an increase of $100 million, compared to estimates earlier this week.
Failed containment efforts have driven up costs. BP lowered one 100-ton containment dome to the sea floor over the weekend, but it failed to stop the flow of oil due to an ice buildup in the pipes. The company lowered its second containment box, known as a "top hat," yesterday. The New York Times reports that BP hopes to connect that box by the end of the week. Engineers are hoping to work on a blowout preventer underseas today, which is a safety device meant to seal an oil well in an emergency like the one that occurred on April 20.
BP says it will also pay for the cost of spill response, relief well drilling, commitments to the Gulf Coast States, settlements and federal costs.
Congress is holding hearings this week in Washington, D.C. and in Louisiana to assess the April 20 explosion aboard Deepwater Horizon. Although investigations are still continuing, a surge of methane gas from the rig's oil well is thought to have caused the explosion. There's also evidence coming to light that BP may have resumed work on the oil rig on April 20 even when a seal at the top of the oil well failed a pressure test.