Workers place absorbent material along the water line Sunday to...

Workers place absorbent material along the water line Sunday to catch oil residue washing ashore from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. (June 27, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

NEW ORLEANS - BP's mounting costs for capping and cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico spill have reached $2.65 billion, the oil giant said Monday, but the company denied reports out of Russia that embattled chief executive Tony Hayward is resigning.

The company's expenses climbed $100 million per day during the weekend, according to a filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as engineers eyed a tropical storm heading toward Mexico that was expected to miss the oil spill area but could still generate disruptive waves and winds.

It was a rocky start to the week after BP Plc stock hit a to a 14-year low Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. BP has lost more than $100 billion in market value since the deep-water drilling platform it was operating blew up April 20, killing 11 workers and starting the massive leak that has fouled the coastlines of four states.

In early afternoon Monday, Hurricane watches were in effect for a stretch of Gulf coast in southern Texas and northern Mexico as Tropical Storm Alex gained strength and appeared on track to become a Category 3 hurricane before it makes landfall later this week.

Forecasters said the storm's path could push oil from the massive Gulf oil spill farther inland.

Alex was swirling through the Gulf of Mexico with winds of 60 mph on a path that would take it very near the Mexico-U.S. border sometime Thursday, said the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida. The storm is expected to become a hurricane Tuesday, and could build winds as high as 120 mph by Wednesday.

British-based BP rushed to deny the report by Russia's state RIA Novosti news agency that a senior Russian cabinet official had said Hayward was expected to resign as chief executive.

It quoted Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, who was set to meet Hayward on Monday, as saying "Hayward is leaving his post, he will introduce his successor."

BP spokeswoman Carolyn Copland in London said the report "is definitely not correct." Hayward was to assure Russian officials of BP's viability and discuss issues related to Russian joint venture TNK-BP, which accounts for about a quarter of BP's reserves and production.

In a filing Monday to U.S. securities regulators, BP said the cost of its response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill had reached about $2.65 billion, up from $2.35 billion as of Friday. The costs include spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to Gulf states, claims paid, and federal costs.

BP said it had received more than 80,000 claims and made almost 41,000 payments, totaling more than $128 million.

BP says the figure does not include a $20 billion fund for Gulf damages it created this month.

Meanwhile in the Gulf, Tropical Storm Alex was expected to strengthen and possibly become a hurricane Monday or Tuesday as its center crossed open water from Yucatan to Mexico's northeastern coast.

That track is far from the area of the oil spill off Louisiana's coast. But the first tropical storm of what is expected to be an active Atlantic hurricane season will still generate waves up to 15 feet high and winds of 20 to 30 mph on its outer edges that could pound the oil spill area, said Stacy Stewart, senior hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

"That could exacerbate the problem there in terms of pushing oil further inland and also perhaps hindering operations," Stewart said.

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