BP's phase 2 trial begins, sets total oil spilled in Deepwater Horizon

30 September 2013 14:48  [Source: ICIS news]

(Recasts with specifics on penalty in third paragraph)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The second phase of BP’s federal civil trial begins on Monday to determine the amount of oil that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed 11 people.

US District Court Judge Carl Barbier has not handed down a decision from the first phase, which would determine whether the UK energy giant was “grossly negligent” in the events leading up to the incident.

If BP is found negligent, the oil flow rate and quantification of oil spilled would be used to access fines the company faces under the US Clean Water Act, which could amount to a maximum of $1,100 (€814) for each barrel spilled. If found “grossly negligent”, the fines would increase to $4,300 for each barrel spilled.

In pre-trial statements for the second phase, the US government claims 4.2m bbl of oil were discharged into the water, while BP argues that amount is closer to 2.45m bbl.

Both sides agreed not to include the 810,000 bbl of oil that BP claimed it prevented from entering the Gulf of Mexico.

BP said its response following the spill complied with government regulation and industry standards, adding that it was “‘quite extraordinary’, warranting recognition and not condemnation”.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: Tracy Dang
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