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BP Gulf Oil Spill Trial Postponed

Written By Brianna Panzica

Posted February 28, 2012

The ordeal surrounding the April 20, 2010 oil rig explosion and subsequent oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is far from over.

A trial against BP (NYSE: BP) was scheduled for Monday February 27, but just the day before, Judge Carl Barbier postponed it another week, to March 5.

BP is engaged in discussions with the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee, a committee representing a number of businesses in the area that were affected by the spill.

And according to Barbier, those discussions are moving along.  The trial would be postponed “for reasons of judicial efficiency and to allow the parties to make further progress in their settlement discussions.”

BP is trying to reach a settlement with PSC before the matter moves into court, following in the footsteps of MOEX and Transocean (NYSE: RIG), two of the other companies involved in the spill.

MOEX made a settlement with the government last week worth $90 million, while Transocean’s was worth $220 million.

But BP is unlikely to get away without paying somewhere in the billions range.

The spill killed 11 rig workers and spilled roughly 200 million gallons into the Gulf.

And it appears BP was keeping some of the information regarding the spill from the government.

The company had reported to the Coast Guard that roughly 42,000 gallons per day were leaking from the rig, but emails show that they knew it was more.

How much more is shocking.  The rig was spilling 2.6 million gallons a day.

Some believe even with the settlements, the trial will still occur.  Stuart Smith, an environmental litigation attorney, told ABC:

“This is the biggest liability suit in the history of the world.  Just writing a check for this is not that easy.  The damages are still occurring, and the oil is still washing up on the shores.  The challenge for BP to settle now is there are too many moving parts.”

The trial is still set to occur and has only been postponed a week.  BP will go to court next Monday.

That’s all for now,


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