A federal judge handed down his decision on Thursday and declared that BP spilled more oil into the Gulf of Mexico than originally estimated following the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010.
BP could now be facing a fine of $13.7 billion.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled that 3.19 million barrels, or 133 million gallons, were discharged into the Gulf after the explosion of the Macondo well. The final tally is well over the 2.4 million barrel figure BP had said was spilled; however, the government’s estimate of about 4.2 million barrels was too high.
In pre-trial briefs, the government argued that BP should pay about $4,300 per barrel spilled. On Tuesday, Jan. 20, the trial to determine the exact amount of monies BP will have to pay will begin.
“There is no way to know with precision how much oil discharged into the Gulf of Mexico. There was no meter counting off each barrel of oil as it exited the well. The experts used a variety of methods to estimate the cumulative discharge. None of these were perfect.” Barbier wrote in his decision.
Lawyers for the oil giant have argued that they are already facing a $42 billion bill, one-third of which is going to response and cleanup efforts. The company does not believe they deserve the maximum Clean Water Act fine. Furthermore, BP thinks they should get some credit for its initial response to the spill.
BP still faces multiple claims by those who suffered damages as a result of the spill. Specifically, business owners and residents who lost money because of the oil spill are still filing claims against BP. The deadline for filing a claim is June 8.
The oilfield contamination attorneys at Simien & Simien have seen first-hand how much damage these spills can cause. If you or someone you love has suffered as a result of a negligence oil company, let us help you get the justice you deserve.