Washington – BP Plc. so far has paid $5 billion to people who were affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico after the explosion of a drilling platform in those waters in April 2010.
The Gulf Coast Claims Facility, the independent entity created in August 2010 to administer BP's indemnification fund, on Tuesday issued a report covering its first year of activity.
The GCCF reported that during this past year it received 947,892 claims, of which 97 percent have been processed and a total of 204,434 claimants already have been paid.
The claimants come from all 50 states, but mainly from the five in the region of the Gulf of Mexico: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, all of them tourist and fishing zones that were affected by the spill.
The state that has received the most payments has been Florida, with $2 billion, followed by Louisiana with $1.52 billion and Alabama with $862 million.
Over the past three months, 61,558 claims have been received from new claimants and others whose initial claims were rejected and who are refiling, and the weekly claims volume has been 4,397, on average.
The processing of the documents received to date and the payments will take until August 2013.
The Gulf oil spill, considered to be the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, began on April after the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform, leading to the spilling of 4.9 million liters (1.29 million gallons) of crude over the next three months.