Second phase of BP Deepwater federal trial postponed two weeks

19 July 2013 23:52  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The judge set to preside over the second phase of the BP Deepwater Horizon federal civil trial has postponed it for two weeks to give both sides more time to prepare.

Testimony in the first phase concluded in April in US District Court in New Orleans, Louisiana, but Judge Carl Barbier delayed making a ruling on whether the UK energy giant was “grossly negligent” in the events leading up to the 2010 explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

At the time, the judge gave both sides 60 days to submit post-trial briefings and another 20 days to file reply briefs, after which he would review the evidence and make a decision. No decision has been handed down as of yet.

The second phase of the trial, now set to begin on 30 September, is to determine the oil flow rate and quantification of oil spilled, which will be used to assess a penalty to BP. Barbier is presiding over that phase as well.

Barbier ruled in February that the court would reduce the oil spill figure and not include the 810,000 bbl of oil that BP claimed it prevented from entering the Gulf of Mexico.

Already, BP has agreed to a $4bn (€3bn) criminal settlement, as well as a $525m civil settlement for claims made by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Also on Friday, Barbier refused to grant an emergency injunction to temporarily stop payments from BP's Deepwater Horizon settlement programme.

($1 = €0.76)

Additional reporting by Tracy Dang

By: Jeremy Pafford
+1 713 525 2653

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