Credit Suisse Estimates BP costs to be $37 billion

Credit Suisse has released an initial estimate on the costs to BP and it's $37 billion.

More details from Business Week:

Cleanup costs may be $15 billion to $23 billion if the well leaks until relief drilling is completed in August, analysts led by Kim Fustier in London said. Claims may rise to $14 billion

Note, the two major components to this estimate. The first is the spill rate. Credit Suisse clearly is using 75 million gallons total.

By early August when the relief wells are drilled, Macondo could have spilled 45 to 75 million gallons of oil into the Gulf, four to seven times Exxon Valdez.

That is quite low of an spill rate estimate. Using a recent top estimate of 4 million gallons per day, we calculate by August, the total amount spilled would be 360 million gallons. The spill rate is an estimate, there is no meter actually measuring it. Spill rates were revised to the high end of 25,000 barrels a day.

Using a longer and clearer video clip of the oil leak for the USGS analysis, Wereley said the figure from his team was reduced to the 12,000-25,000 per-barrel range because of the amount of methane gas and other natural gases consistently gushing out of the pipe.

A barrel equals 42 gallons. This newly revised flow estimate would give a spill rate of 1.05 million gallons per day. Calculated from day 44 of the disaster, means 46.2 million gallons have already spilled. Assuming another 60 days to even complete the relief wells adds 63 million more gallons to a whopping total of 109.2 million gallons.

That is 46% more oil than Credit Suisse cost estimates use, which implies their estimates, assuming BP cannot sharply curtail the oil leak and the relief wells stop the spill completely, are grossly underestimated.

The second major component is liability or claims and payouts against BP, Halliburton and Transocean and why the messaging as well as the blame game went on as well as actions to remove liability caps by some in Congress.

The other obvious component is effective clean up versus delays and ineffective methods as well as adding additional toxins compounding the clean up effort.

Meanwhile U.K. pensions are in big trouble with excessive BP holdings.

Pensions expert Alan Smith, chief executive of financial planning firm Capital Asset Management, said: “This is a disaster for BP and most pension funds will undoubtedly have exposure to BP and will be affected. If BP were to halve in value this could lead to pension values going down one or two per cent.

One might also notice that cost is about half of just one AIG bail out.

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BP's costs

are on many levels and a few economic trains of thought emerge:

1. As you have outlined, the direct cost outlay of containment and clean-up.

2. Tier 2 indirect cost - loss revenue from fishing, tourism, and other industries that are directly impacted

3. My concern is with the 3rd tier indirect costs - wetlands restoration (if that is even possible), costs that will be derived from the change in ecology in LA, MS, AL, FL.
From the trajectory, it looks like the spill will likely affect the FL Everglades, too. We have no idea what the ricochet effects (and costs) this will manifest.

here are some hints to get that number

Spillonomics, estimated by the Altanta Fed. Note they just list the industries by sector and number of jobs. But now we know the entire region has stopped the fishing industry for an example, so we could get some of those numbers.

I'm not sure exactly where regional economy and industrial sector economy data is from the cost, but the BLS might have some of this breakdown.

BLS database

Are you working on this? The BLS database for regional data is here, you must scroll down to regional resources. Then, the Dallas Fed has other databases, here. Then, here is the greater New Orleans site with some additional research data.

Most of these databases are using XLS or CVS formats. Myself, I just got Excel 2007, which has better graphing ability, but still not ideal to examine trends, data. I've yet to find software that really helps, easily to make charts/graphs and analysis and I've downloaded many a tool to date. This is on my "to do" list actually, to make it much easier to automatically generate charts and tables from the raw data.