A federal judge has determined that 3.19 million barrels of oil was discharged into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 as a result of a rig explosion at BP's Macondo well. This is less than government estimates of about 4.2 million, but more than the 2.4 million barrel figure BP had argued for.
Thursday's finding by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier sets the stage for next week's trial to determine BP's Clean Water Act penalties. The government has argued that the oil giant should pay as much as $4,300 per barrel spilled, which could mean in excess of $13 billion in penalties.
BP argues that the per-barrel penalty should be less.