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Gulf Of Mexico Spill Costs BP More Than \$38bn

The Gulf of Mexico oil disaster has cost BP more than \$38bn (£23.7bn) to date, the company has said, as it promised to raise its dividend.

The energy firm said its third quarter results included a charge of \$59m (£36.8m) related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster - which includes over \$7m (£4.3m) paid out to individuals and businesses in legal claims.

This takes the total cost of the 2010 oil spill to the company to \$38.1bn (£23.7bn).

But BP raised its quarterly dividend by 12.5% - its second hike in less than a year - after its results exceeded expectations.

Its replacement cost profit - which does not include the effects oil price movements - dropped to \$4.69bn (£2.92bn) in the third quarter, compared with \$5.27bn (£3.28bn) in the same period last year.

This slide in profits came as production of oil and gas fell 3% to 2.26 million barrels of oil a day.

But its oil refining business delivered a record profit because of higher fuel prices in the US and Europe.

"BP's performance and the strong progress we are making in transforming the company give us the confidence to increase distributions to our shareholders," the company's chief executive Bob Dudley said.

"We are on track with our strategy to 2014 and are laying the right foundations for sustainable growth during the coming decade."

BP's shares rose 5% following the announcement.