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BP 'egregious' for drilling oil spill well

  • BP was accused on Wednesday of disregarding evidence that the Macondo oil well was unstable.

    On the third day of the New Orleans trial over the Gulf of Mexico spill, expert witness Alan Huffman stated: "It is truly egregious to drill that extra 100 feet, knowing you could lose the well in the process.”

    Huffman, a geophysicist, added that the pressure under the well was unstable, meaning the well was "dangerous and fragile".

    BP has accepted partial responsibility for the spill but maintains other firms must also share the blame and costs.

    These include Transocean, the operator of the Deepwater Horizon rig, and Halliburton, who provided cement for lining the Macondo well.

    The trial could result in BP being hit with a fine of up to $17.6 billion, the biggest civil fine in history.

    In November, BP agreed to pay $4.5 billion to settle criminal charges relating to the spill.

    It also paid $7.8 billion as part of a settlement to people and businesses affected.

    The non-jury trial will take place in two phases in New Orleans.

    The first is looking at the cause of the April 20, 2010 explosion that killed 11 men and released an estimated 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf over 84 days.

    The second part of the trial, set to begin in early fall, will focus on how much oil was leaked in order to determine how much BP owes in civil fines.

    Know more about New Orleans through New Orleans City Guide