BP disaster probe hears that 4.2m barrels of oil were spilled


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The Independent Online

The question of how much oil spewed out of BP’s Macondo well during the Gulf of Mexico spill in 2010 was centre stage at the hearing into the disaster yesterday, with a US government lawyer claiming that at least 4.2m barrels escaped.

“The question for you, your honour, is not how much oil was collected but how much was not,” lawyer Steven O’Rourke told Judge Carl Barbier, presiding over the case in New Orleans. BP’s estimate is significantly lower at about 2.45m barrels. If the Judge accepts the government’s estimate, BP could face fines of up to $18bn (£11bn) under the US Clean Water Act.