Sign from a Shell gas station
Sign from a Shell gas station - 
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Stacey Vanek-Smith: The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico keeps getting worse. The U.S. Coast Guard announced the damaged well is leaking 5,000 barrels of oil a day. That's five times more than previously thought. It also means British operator BP will spend a lot on clean-up and legal costs. From London, Stephen Beard reports.

Stephen Beard: BP says it's spending $6 million a day trying to clean up the spill and stop the leak. Those costs can quickly add up. A comparable spill off the cost of Australia took a month to get under control. That would set BP back more than $160 million.

The company is getting some help from a surprising source. Rival oil giant Shell has sent half a dozen vessels to help with the clean. Nick Macgregor is with brokers Redmayne and Bentley. He says both companies drill in deepwater, both have much at stake:

Nick Macgregor: As companies like BP and Shell highlight that their speciality is the tough-to-reach resources, what they also have to highlight is that they can manage that process in a safe and secure fashion. Otherwise they're going to find the political will to grant exploration licenses just isn't there.

The slick in the Gulf of Mexico is now 600 miles in circumference and is expected to hit the Louisiana coastline by Friday night.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.