BP: Stock rises after it reports oil spill progress

By Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- BP's stock rose 2% at the start of trading on Monday after the oil giant announced that it is making progress in capping the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP (BP) said on Monday that 10,500 barrels of oil had been collected on Saturday. This means that a total of 16,600 barrels were collected between Thursday and Saturday. The spill is leaking at least 19,000 barrels a day.

BP also said it has spent $1.25 billion so far in its efforts to cap the well and clean up the resulting spill, which has fouled the beaches of Louisiana, the hardest hit area. This includes $360 million to build and install structures to try and keep oil from washing ashore on Louisiana's barrier islands.

Thousands of people have been put out of work and the fishing industry is in shambles, though BP has pledged to pay compensation for all legitimate claims. Damage estimates range from $3 billion to $40 billion.

Nonetheless, BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward told investors in a conference call last week that his company is in sound financial shape. Another executive said the company generated $30 billion in cash over the last four quarters.

The problems stem from a disaster that occurred on April 20, when the Deepwater Horizon offshore rig exploded and sank, killing 11 workers.

BP owns the well, while the rig is owned by Transocean (RIG), which saw its stock rise nearly 2% at the start of trading.

BP is in the process of digging two relief wells to try and siphon off oil, but it could be three months before they're completed.

Gulf Coast residents, workers and business owners are bracing themselves for the full extent of the economic and environmental damage, since no one really knows when the spill will be capped and where the currents will take the oil.

Florida tourism officials said that "dime to quarter-sized tar balls" have been found on beaches in the Panhandle.

"Additional impacts are expected throughout Northwest Florida within the next 72 hours," according to a statement posted Sunday on Florida's tourism Web site says. "At this time, there are no beach closures and Florida's state waters remain open to recreational fishing." To top of page

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