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LONDON (Reuters) - BP said payouts to people affected by its Gulf of Mexico oil spill had dramatically increased since it surrendered authority for dispensing funds to an independent administrator.

BP said the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), the $20 billion fund it set up to compensate fishermen, hoteliers and retailers whose business was hit by the spill, had paid out 19,000 claims totaling over $240 million.

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