June 16th, 2010
06:45 PM ET
13 years ago

BP: We'll pay the bill for now

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/16/art.bpwillis.caphill.jpg caption="BP is continue to pay the costs for the oil spill cleanup, Darryl Willis, Vice President of BP America, told the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management Wednesday."]
(CNN) - BP will continue to pay the costs for the oil spill cleanup and will work out with its drilling partners later who is liable for the costs, an executive for the oil giant told a Senate subcommittee Wednesday.

"BP is paying all the bills right now," Darryl Willis, the vice president of resources for BP America, told the senators. "We are focused on making sure that the costs associated with this cleanup and spill in the Gulf of Mexico are paid and that the people who have been hurt along the Gulf Coast are compensated for their losses, and any federal costs that are associated with the cleanup are paid back to the American people."

The government bills the companies responsible for the disaster on one invoice, said Craig Bennett, director of the National Pollution Fund. It doesn't matter if one or all companies pay the bill.

However, the chief executive officer of rig owner Transocean, Steve Newman, said his company is a BP subcontractor and is only liable for any diesel fluid that has been spilled. None has been found in the waters, he said.

To date, the Coast Guard has billed BP and four other companies $71 million and another charge of $50 million is imminent, said Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, the chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management.

The bill was sent to BP as well as Transocean, Anadarko, Moex Offshore and QBE Underwriting.

"They're all responsible parties, but ultimately how much each of them might be liable for will be determined as a result of the investigations and how it all settles out," Bennett said. "They might not all be equal responsible for all the damages, and it's too early to know what that might be."

In the meantime, BP will pay, Willis said. "Our focus has not been at this point on working through any issues with partners, but making sure that we as BP do the right thing. Our view is that there'll be plenty of time to sort that out [later]."

BP also has paid more than $90 million in individual claims and $16 million in business claims, he said.

Willis said it was too early to say specifically how the $20 billion escrow fund to be created by BP will work. The details will be worked out in the next few weeks, he told the committee.

The total governmental cost for the cleanup is $217 million so far,
Bennett said.

Filed under: BP • Oil spill
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Discernment


    While the President was doing a political imitation of Muhammad Ali's "Rope-a-Dope"; Liberal Democrats were having a "psycho-hissie fit" blaming Obama for being too weak on BP.

    President walks into a 20-minute meeting with BP and walks out with:
    (1.) – $200,000,000,000.00 (Billion) with "No Cap" from BP;
    (2.) – $100,000,000.00 (Million) for out-of-work oil riggers impacted by BP catastrophe;
    (3.) – Removal of BP from the claims process because they will drag the process;
    (4.) – A public apology from BP to the nation from the steps of the White House.

    INDEPENDENTS LOVE YOU PRESIDENT, even when Liberal Democrats turn their backs on you and when Republican-GOP lie on you.

    June 16, 2010 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  2. jesse leal

    This is yet another proof that Corporate America runs the show here
    Watch, is going to happen the same way we bailed out Wall Street
    Don't see the connection?
    What would now happen if I'm caught up changing my car's motor oil and dumping the old one into the sewer system?
    Did the government bailed us out the same way it did to the big firms in Wall Street?
    Are we going to be trated the same way big corporations are treated?
    BTW, we are woking hard on containing the spill to prevent hazardous consecuenses in our country, but, what about Mexico? Will they have to stick with this? Could they "sue" us or BP?

    June 16, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  3. for now?

    I'd say completely with out any phrase paid back to the American people FOR NOW. There is NO for now.

    you owe it you pay it

    don't look to blame anyone else

    June 16, 2010 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Do not worry bp will make there back at the gas pump

    June 16, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  5. Real American

    And BP, you'll continue to pay the bill until the clean up is done. Or we'll drag you to jail. Maybe this will leave less money for Big Oil to buy politicians like Bobby Jindal, who spearheaded the overturn of the drilling ban a few years back, and the the rest of the drill baby drill gang. Gulf coasters are stepping in what they voted for.

    June 16, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  6. Tamara

    Of course there will be an independent investigation and rightly so.
    There are 40% British and 39% American shareholders , rigs were operated by Americans and there is an oversight regulatory board that had been selected by the federal government and they had set the safety rules and operating regulations.
    They will also find evidence of how slow the response and almost non action was coming from the White House.
    Sadly , campaign fundraisers and sing-a longs kept Obama in the news and the photo ops showed him having a great time while the Gulf Coast was hit by a catastrophe.
    Why has the media failed to report on the many offers of help , expertise and equipment from oil producing countries and that their offers of help were not just refused but they were rudely ignored.
    Right now everybody should work together to stop the flow of oil , there will be lots of time later to lay blame , I doubt it that BP will be the only ones to shoulder it.

    June 16, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  7. Slick William

    This is an environmental disaster that you can't put a dollar value on. How do you buy back a lost fishery, a lost ecosystem, a lost way of life for both commercial and recreational uses? When you put dispersant on the oil it emulsifies and sinks, then it forms an undersea blanket that rolls inland covering the sea floor. Macro invertebrates live in the water column and in the sediment of the sea floor, they are the basis of the food chain structure, EVERYTHING in the chain depends upon them as the primary food source in the chain. They will be wiped out along with mullosks, crabs, seaworms, aquatic vegetation and every other bit of life that is in the way of the sludge train. This is an apocalyptic event that will change the entire ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico for decades to come as well as our Gulf coast. 20 Billion Dollars wont even touch what this is going to do... God help us!

    June 16, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  8. Gerald

    Transocean thinks that they are only responsible for any diesel fuel spilled? They can go on thinking that, if they'd like. They've already filed a pre-emptive strike in federal court in Houston seeking to use the same old maritime law which the owners of the Titanic attempted to use to limit liability. It won't work. The U.S. public won't stand for it.

    Transocean is just as liable as BP. It was a Transocean drilling platform and their acquiescence to BP's demands to limit or ignore safety practices which caused this tragic mess.

    The U.S. can put Transocean's U.S. assets into receivership. We can do the same to BP and any other companies involved. It is not without precedent. We can also prohibit Transocean and BP and the rest from doing business, as a subcontractor or otherwise, in U.S. territorial waters. Good luck to them on finding business after that; because the rest of the world has, for the most part, stricter rules and better oversight than we do. They won't be able to get by on the cheap and ignore safety rules offshore in Brazil or the North Sea and most other places, except, perhaps, for poorer countries like Nigeria where they can just buy the government outright. It was only here in the U.S. with our governmental oversight agencies practically run by the industry which allowed them to do their dirty little shady business practices.

    So, keep on trying to avoid responsibility for your actions, Transocean. You've proven yourselves to be ethically challenged at best, and outright criminal at worst.

    June 16, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  9. constitutionalpatriot

    They should be held accountable and pay for the negative impacts on the environment and peoples lives. What a wonderful world we live in! The crooks in Washington will find some way to use it to tax the middle class right out of me!

    June 16, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  10. Jonny

    No, You Will Continue to Pay the Bill for this Nightmare until every bit of it is clean and cleared. Period.

    June 16, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  11. Diane

    20B will only put a dent in what was and will continue to be lost. With BP's intentional neglect and disrespect for people, wildlife and natural eco-systems, the CEO's should be tried, found guilty of and forced into servitude to clean the mess they created, after BP spends every penny they have in containing the leak and fixing the damage they caused.

    In addition, after seeing crushed pelican chicks and eggs (CNN News 6/15/2010) caused by incompetents who don't know the first thing about wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and care, Obama must stop BP from controlling wildlife rescue. Obama must assign this control and responsibility to the Humane Society of the United States. The HSUS can work in conjunction with the National Audubon Society and other birding and wildlife agencies. These incredible organizations have the people and volunteers who already know how to handle wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and relocation efforts. They want to be involved. Of course, BP will pay for all of the efforts and supplies for these organizations.

    The organization BP hired for wildlife rescue doesn’t know what it’s doing. Their people are not adequately trained in wildlife rescue and like BP, are doing more harm than good. This must be stopped

    June 16, 2010 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  12. John

    For now Darryl? Then what the American taxpayers should pay the bill? How do all you Tea Party republican folks fell about that? Oh, it's only the poor and middle class paying, it's must be OK!

    June 16, 2010 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |

    They should have to pay the bills and all the damage bills for the next 20 years until the coast can heal itself if ever. I am sure that the ones who suffer won't get if they ever get a tenth of the money they would have earned. Obama why don't you immediately pass a bill freezing any collection agency's from trying to drive these people into loosing their property and homes, businesses, etc.

    June 16, 2010 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  14. D

    Yep here it comes 'for now'......which means soon as the Republicans can force this off on the tax payers (as usual) we will be paying for it after all. This is why their rhetoric has been that we are to hard on the oil companies..typical...save the rich, crush the poor.

    June 16, 2010 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  15. Moel

    BP..you SOB'S....you best pay the bill for years to come.

    June 16, 2010 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |