Congress is currently considering legislation that would bar any company from receiving offshore drilling permits if more than 10 fatalities had occurred at its offshore or onshore facilities, The New York Times reported. The bill also forbids permits to companies that have paid fines of $10 million or more under the Clean Air or Clean Water acts over a seven-year period.
BP has agreed to contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to projects including a foundation to support rig workers who have lost their job, a research program to study the impact of the spill and marketing campaigns to promote Gulf tourism.
"If we are unable to keep those fields going, that is going to have a substantial impact on our cash flow," said David Nagle, BP's executive vice president for BP America, told The New York Times. That "makes it harder for us to fund things, fund these programs."
The total cost of the oil spill so far is now $8 billion, BP said Friday. The British company also indicated that the well could be permanently sealed within about two weeks, MarketWatch reported.