BP says oil leak costs rise to $450mln

LONDON (AFP) – BP said Thursday that the huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill had so far cost the embattled British energy group 450 million dollars (358 million euros).

That was 100 million dollars more than the amount announced by the group on Monday.

"The cost to date of the response amounts to about 450 million dollars, including the cost of spill response, containment, relief well drilling, commitments to the Gulf Coast States, settlements and federal costs," the company said in a statement.

Three weeks into the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, BP engineers readied a new "top hat" containment dome Thursday to cap the ruptured well that has spewed a sea of crude toward the US coast.

Top oil executives faced growing congressional criticism over safety flaws on the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded on April 20, claiming the lives of 11 workers and unleashing the environmental mess spilling an estimated 210,000 gallons of crude each day.

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