BP said Monday that it had spent about $2 billion so far in its response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, including containment efforts, economic and environmental claims and state and federal costs. It has also paid out $105 million in claims.
A Federal District Court judge in New Orleans heard arguments from companies supplying offshore oil rigs who sued to lift President Obama’s six-month drilling moratorium on the 33 rigs currently idle in the gulf, as well as new deep-water drilling projects, pending results of the investigation into the spill. The companies said in a lawsuit that the government had no evidence that existing operations posed a threat to the gulf. Judge Martin L. C. Feldman said he would decide the case by Wednesday at the latest. Also, the United States Chemical Safety Board said it was opening an investigation into the April 20 explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which killed 11 workers and set off the massive oil spill.
Lightning forced a temporary shutdown of the oil recovery operations on Friday and then again on Sunday. Adm. Thad W. Allen of the Coast Guard, the federal commander of the response to the disaster, said the recovery effort captured 23,291 barrels on Sunday, “slightly below what we’ve been getting the last couple of days.”