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BP set to begin trial over oil spill

  • British Petroleum is set to begin a civil trial over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill that became the U.S.'s worst environmental disaster.

    The UK oil giant will face American states that were affected by the spill and the Department of Justice.

    It could be hit with a fine of up to $17.6 billion, the biggest civil fine in history.

    The trial comes after BP agreed in November to pay $4.5 billion to settle criminal charges relating to the spill.

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

    The first, beginning on Monday, will focus on 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 set out to find out how much oil was leaked, which will determine how much BP owes in civil fines.