Coast Guard says BP has not been paying oil spill claims

WASHINGTON - JUNE 07:  U.S. Coast Guard Admira...

Admiral Thad Allen. Image by Getty Images North America via @daylife

Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen released a letter to BP CEO Tony Hayward this morning demanding BP release detailed information on claims people have submitted for damages and lost income because of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The letter comes in advance of a meeting between Coast Guard and BP officials today to discuss “ongoing concerns related to delayed processing time for large loss claims, claims pending with no action taken, payment calculations for individual loss of income claims (particularly for seasonal workers), translation of claims material, and accessibility for the hearing impaired,” according to Allen’s letter.

Allen appointed a FEMA official to oversee BP’s processing of claims and asked Tony Hayward to appoint someone to work with her.

BP has promised to pay “all legitimate claims for as long as it takes” to anyone hurt harmed or damaged by the disaster. The company said it had paid $46 million in claims through Saturday. BP has spent an estimated $1.25 billion on containment and cleanup since the spill began April 20. The company is worth $236 billion and made a $13 billion profit last year.

Meanwhile, at the spill site: BP reported it was on track yesterday to collect more than 15,000 barrels of oil per day through the containment cap it placed on the leaking wellhead late last week. It collected 7,850 barrels from midnight to noon on Tuesday, the fastest rate yet.

The lower rim of the cap became visible in live video of the leak yesterday as the company drew increasingly greater volumes of oil to a ship at the surface, but oil continues to leak into the Gulf from the wellhead at an unknown rate.

BP is working on three other designs for better fitting caps to replace the current one. Eventually the oil will be drawn to a permanent station 300 feet below the surface, from which the ship above will be able to disconnect in the event of a hurricane.

The company also plans to begin drawing oil to another ship from pipes connected lower to the well’s failed blowout preventer. BP used those pipes in its failed attempt to plug the well with mud and debris.

The company promised yesterday to donate net revenue from the recovered oil to a fund to rehabilitate and protect wildlife in Gulf States.

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