Oil major BP has said that the Gulf of Mexico spill has so far cost it $350m (£233m).
In a statement released yeaterday, the company did not speculate on the final bill, but many analysts expect the final figure to hit $10bn.
BP said its figure included the cost of the immediate response, containment, relief well drilling, commitments to the Gulf Coast states and settlements and federal costs. BP shares slipped 0.5% to 551.4 pence ($8.26) after the report.
The London-based company said that it was preparing a second, smaller containment box to lower over the main leak point at the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig after attempts to do the same with a larger box last week were foiled by icy slush.
An estimated 3.5m gallons of oil have spilled since the explosion at the Deepwater rig on April 20, about 50 miles off the Louisiana coast. At that pace, by next month the spill will surpass the 11m gallons spilled by the Exxon Valdez in 1989.
Meanwhile, a BP shareholder has filed a lawsuit against the corporation’s executive because of the spill.
Filed in federal court in New Orleans on Friday, the lawsuit by Pennsylvania resident Katherine Firpo accuses BP PLC of ignoring safety issues on rigs such as the Deepwater Horizon.