The second phase of a federal civil trial involving BP began Monday. The company faces Clean Water Act fines ranging anywhere between $2.7 billion to $18 billion for the Gulf oil spill.
How much oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico after the 2010 rig explosion, at what rate, and why it took nearly three months to stop are key questions in a federal civil trial involving British oil giant BP, whose second phase began Monday in New Orleans.
The stakes involved are high: BP faces Clean Water Act fines ranging anywhere between $2.7 billion to $18 billion.
Eleven people were killed in April 2010 when an explosion sank the Deepwater Horizon, a rig leased by BP and located 50 miles off the Louisiana coast. The subsequent rush of oil resulted in one of the worst environmental disasters in US history, damaging wildlife and coastal ecosystems and wreaking havoc on local and state economies.
How much oil continues to be in dispute. The US Department of Justice says an estimated 4.2 million barrels, or 176 million gallons, spilled, while BP calculates 2.45 million barrels, or 103 million gallons. The amount of oil spilled will be key in determining the penalty the company faces.
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