"BP Spars With U.S. Government Over Size of Gulf of Mexico Spill"

"NEW ORLEANS -- Lawyers for BP Plc and the federal government sparred on Monday over the methods competing teams of scientists used to estimate the size of the company's 2010 oil spill in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico."

"U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier will use evidence presented during the next 12 days of trial to determine the total amount of oil that gushed into the Gulf for 87 days after the Macondo well blew out. Potential fines under the Clean Water Act could top $17 billion, an amount close to BP's annualized profits as of last quarter. ...

The government told the court that some 4.9 million barrels spilled. BP has estimated just 3.26 million barrels escaped into the sea. Both sides acknowledged that 810,000 barrels of oil collected in cleanup will be excluded from the final amount."

Kathy Finn reports for Reuters October 7, 2013.

Source: Reuters, 10/08/2013