BP trial to focus on scientists' oil spill estimates

Penalties range up to $18 billion

Published On: Oct 07 2013 08:25:13 AM EDT
BP oil spill, Gulf of Mexico, oil rig, smoke, ships
NEW ORLEANS -

A federal judge is set to begin hearing three weeks of testimony about how much oil made it into the ocean during the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Experts for BP and the federal government will provide U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier with very different estimates when the second phase of a trial resumes Monday for litigation spawned by the spill.

The amount of oil that spewed into the Gulf is a key factor in determining how much more money BP and its contractors owe for their roles in the deadly disaster.

Using the government's figures, a maximum penalty if BP is found grossly negligent could total $18 billion. Using BP figures, the maximum would be around $10.5 billion.