BP oil spill

A federal trial is drawing to a close for a former BP drilling engineer charged with deleting text messages about the company's response to its massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Jurors are scheduled to hear closing arguments Monday in Kurt Mix's trial on two counts of obstruction of justice. Mix didn't testify at his trial, which started two weeks ago.

Mix pleaded not guilty to charges he deliberately deleted text messages to and from a supervisor and a BP contractor to stymie a grand jury's probe of the spill.

Oil giant BP is challenging hundreds of millions of dollars in claims that were filed by businesses after the company's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The total price tag for BP's oil spill is huge — $42.5 billion. At issue here is a fraction of that — but still a lot of money. BP says $540 million has been awarded to businesses for losses that "are either nonexistent, exaggerated or have nothing to do with the Deepwater Horizon accident."

The BP oil spill claims agreement is heading back to a courtroom in New Orleans on Monday. The oil company says fraudulent claims are being paid.

Jason Saul / WWNO

Louisiana officials say they’re not sure why there’s been a surge of oily material washing up on the coastline three years after the BP oil spill. The amount is 20 times more than what was found over the same period last year.

The Coast Guard says more than a ton of oil has been discovered in recent days beneath the sand on Fourchon Beach as a result of Tropical Storm Karen.

Officials suspect the mat of oil had been hidden by sand before being uncovered by the effects of the storm, which lingered along the Gulf Coast a little over a week ago, and was discovered during cleanup efforts that began this weekend.

In a New Orleans courtroom this week, BP and the federal government are arguing over how much oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010.

Oil flowed from the out-of-control well for nearly three months. Just how much oil spilled will be key in determining the amount BP will have to pay in federal fines and penalties.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

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A federal judge has ordered the administrator of a multibillion-dollar settlement over BP's 2010 Gulf oil spill to immediately suspend making settlement offers and payments to some businesses that claim the company's 2010 oil spill cost them money.

U.S. District Carl Barbier issued Thursday's order a day after an appeals court reversed his rulings in a dispute between BP and plaintiffs' attorneys over the settlement's formula for compensating businesses.

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.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Officials from BP, formerly British Petroleum, will be back in a New Orleans courtroom next week. It's part of a complex federal case that will ultimately determine responsibility in damages for the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. And that's the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. NPR's Debbie Elliott's been following the trial and joins us. Deb, thanks for being with us.

DEBBIE ELLIOTT, BYLINE: Glad to be here.

SIMON: Remind us of what's at stake in this phase of the case.

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