Up to 9,000 idled rig workers may be eligible for BP grants because of Gulf drilling freeze

Up to 9,000 people will be eligible for money from a $100 million fund set up by BP to help oil workers idled by a federal moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

That's according to a Lousiana charity picked by BP to run the program.

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation, or BRAF, said Monday it will take applications from Sept. 1 to Sept. 30.

The group's head, John Davies, said applications will be graded against each other to determine need, before any dollars are doled out. Grant checks ranging from $3,000 to $30,000 — depending on financial hardship — will be mailed in October.

BP PLC announced last month it would pay for aid for rig workers hurt by the six-month drilling moratorium imposed after the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon.