Private investors are flocking to BP according to TD Waterhouse as shares in the company have plummeted with buys now outnumbering sells four to one.

Fears that oil spill costs, rising to $990 million pounds on Tuesday, were crippling the company have sent shares down a further 13 per cent this week.

However, overall BP made $6bn in the first quarter alone, and investors are now prepared to 'take a gamble' with the share falling precariously low - since the crisis began, BP shares have fallen by a third.

Angus Rigby, chief executive officer of TD Waterhouse, said: "Trading in BP more than doubled in the week ended 1 June. Our customers took advantage of discounted BP stock with its shares accounting for 34.6% of the week's top ten buys, knocking Lloyds off the number one position, as customers monitored the super-major's efforts to contain its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico."

Volumes in BP shares reached 73,868,224 today, with only Lloyds and RBS traded more on the FTSE 100.