* Oil spill costs it $625 million so far, vs $450 mln May 13
* Siphon tube collecting 2,000 barrels a day, up from 1,000
* 15,600 claims filed, 2,700 have already been paid
LONDON, May 18 BP Plc (BP.L) doubled the
estimate of how much oil it was managing to siphon from the leak
in the Gulf of Mexico, as it lifted the total bill for the
clean-up to $625 million.
BP said on Tuesday its "quick fix" mile-long siphon tube
deployed on the leaking well was now collecting 40 percent of
the estimated 5,000 barrels of oil flowing into the sea per day,
double the 1,000 barrels it was capturing on Monday.
The updated cost of the oil spill was $175 million more than
the oil major reported five days ago and includes the spill
response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to the Gulf
Coast States, settlements and federal costs. [ID:nLDE64C0I9]
BP shares were up 0.7 percent to 533.6 pence at 0811 GMT,
mirroring a 0.8 percent rise in the FTSE 100 .FTSE.
"The costs were always going to go up," said Panmure Gordon
analyst Peter Hitchens, who believes the costs could top $2
billion. "They are managing to get about 2,000 barrels a day and
hopefully get that higher ... which means there is less oil
floating to the surface which is good news."
Analyst forecasts for the clean-up costs and compensation
for the spill off the coast of Louisiana have ranged from a few
hundred million dollars to over $12 billion.
The company also said 15,600 claims have been filed, more
than double the 6,700 filed by last Thursday, of which 2,700
have already been paid.
Investors have knocked around $30 billion off BP's stock
market value over the spill, which followed an April 20 rig
explosion that killed 11 workers.
(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by David Holmes)