The crux of the trial

Second Phase of BP Oil Spill Trial Begins

The question before U.S. District Judges Carl J. Barbier is to determine how much oil spilled during the 87 days that elapsed until the well was shut in.

Phase two of the Deepwater Horizon Multi-District Litigation trial began Oct. 7 in New Orleans, as the high-profile trial to determine what company is liable for the explosion and oil spill continues before U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier. The trial has huge implications for BP and other companies involved in drilling the Macondo well, but the key question is how much oil spilled from the seabed into the Gulf of Mexico after the drilling rig explosion.

A March 2011 Interior Department report said three teams from U.S. Department of Energy labs used pressure measurements recorded as a valve closed to shut off the spill in July 2010 estimated 53,000 barrels per day were escaping from the well just prior to the closing, and they assigned an uncertainty to that value of ±10 percent. They concluded the spill, which lasted a total of 87 days, amounted to 4.9 million barrels of oil, before accounting for containment.

The Justice Department is arguing in this phase that 4.2 million barrels was spilled, but BP argues it was 2.45 million. If Barbier finds BP was negligent, he could fine the company anywhere from $2.7 billion to $18 billion because there is a per-barrel system of pollution penalties in federal law.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Steve O'Rourke, a lawyer for the federal government, said his witnesses will refute BP’s efforts to suggest the government’s spill estimates were politically driven.

Key documents, including exhibits and transcripts of testimony in the trial, are available at this website.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Steps to Conduct a JSA

    We've put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you perform a job safety analysis (JSA), which includes a pre-built, JSA checklist and template, steps of a JSA, list of potential job hazards, and an overview of hazard control hierarchy.

  • Levels of a Risk Matrix

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Industry Safe
TenCate FR Technology

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - October 2020

    October 2020

    Featuring:

    • FACILITY SECURITY
      EHS Compliance: Make it Personal
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      Choosing the Right Safety Shoe for Your Industry
    • HAND PROTECTION
      A Requirements Checklists for Work Safety Gloves
    • COVID-19 MANAGEMENT
      Contemporary Issues in HSE Management
    View This Issue