BP is in the second phase of a month-long civil trial in New Orleans over its 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The company is denying allegations that it misled officials about how much oil was gushing out of its blown-out well.
US District Judge Carl Barbier is hearing from the oil company and the government. BP says nearly 2.5 million barrels spilled from the underwater Macondo well over 87 days. The government says it’s about twice that amount.
The same judge in the first phase earlier this year heard arguments on whether BP and its contractors were grossly negligent in causing the blowout. That determination, as opposed to simply negligent, amounts to billions of dollars in Clean Water Act fines.
Judge Barbier will also decide if BP was negligent, or grossly negligent, on how it prepared for a possible spill, and how it responded.