BP shares have closed down 9.25 pct today after the board of BP met to discuss the growing bill from the Deepwater Horizon oil crisis.

The meeting comes as the board consider whether to pay a dividend to shareholders after shares in the company have fallen almost 300 pence.

Reports suggest that the company will pay a 'scrip' dividend, whilst shareholders will be keen to retain investments after millions has been wiped off in the last weeks. Since the crisis began shares in BP are now worth almost half their value.

And with no other way to stem the oil until August, BP must now consider the cost of protecting the seacoast and sealife that have been damaged.

A massive clean-up operation will have to be supported and BP will also face a bill from Obama and the US Government who they will meet on Wednesday. A further package of risers is expected from end of June/early July and operations to skim oil already released into the water have already begun.

BP has also promised $25 million in grants to Florida, Alabama and Mississippi and has spent $60 million for a project to build barriers off the Louisiana coast.

No formal announcement on the matter is expected today, say AFP.

BP's share price closed down at 355.45 p on today's news.