BP Ruled 'Reckless' in Gulf Spill; Could Owe Billions

Judge's finding could quadruple civil penalties owed by BP

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Sep 4, 2014 10:32 AM CDT

(Newser) – A federal judge has ruled that BP's reckless conduct resulted in the nation's worst offshore oil spill, leaving the company open to billions of dollars in penalties. US District Judge Carl Barbier's ruling today could nearly quadruple the amount of civil penalties BP could face for polluting the Gulf of Mexico with its Macondo well blowout. Barbier presided over a trial in 2013 to apportion blame for the spill that spewed oil from April 20 to mid-July 2010. Eleven men died in the explosion; BP already has agreed to billions of dollars in criminal fines. Barbier says BP bears 67% of the blame for the spill, drilling rig owner Transocean Ltd. takes 30% of the blame, and cement contractor Halliburton Energy Services takes 3%.

In an April 21, 2010, file photo, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns after a deadly explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.
In an April 21, 2010, file photo, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns after a deadly explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
In this June 26, 2010, file photo, oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is seen floating on the surface of the water in Bay Jimmy in Plaquemines Parish, La.
In this June 26, 2010, file photo, oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is seen floating on the surface of the water in Bay Jimmy in Plaquemines Parish, La.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
In this Sept. 5, 2012, aerial photo, a combination of alluvial clay and tar mats are seen on the shore of Elmer's Island in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac in Jefferson Parish, La.
In this Sept. 5, 2012, aerial photo, a combination of alluvial clay and tar mats are seen on the shore of Elmer's Island in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac in Jefferson Parish, La.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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