BP does not expect to plug its leaking Gulf of Mexico well until August, a spokeswoman for the company told Reuters on Thursday, following press speculation that it could happen earlier.

Hopes of a quicker end to the worst oil spill in U.S. history had increased after the head of BP's Gulf Coast restoration unit, Bob Dudley, said it could be possible to stop the well between July 20 and July 27 in a perfect world with no interruptions.

He (Dudley) gave that as the very, very best scenario if everything went absolutely superbly according to plan and there are no interruptions but the expectation is that it will be August, the spokeswoman said.

(Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Kate Holton)