Judge: BP's Reckless Conduct Caused Gulf Oil Spill

A federal judge has ruled that BP's reckless conduct resulted in the nation's worst offshore oil spill, leaving the company open to billions of dollars in penalties.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier's ruling Thursday could nearly quadruple the amount of civil penalties for polluting the Gulf of Mexico with oil from BP's Macondo well in 2010.

Barbier presided over a trial in 2013 to apportion blame for the spill that spewed oil from April 20 to mid-July 2010. Eleven men died when the well blew wild; BP already has agreed to billions of dollars in criminal fines.

Barbier said BP bears 67 percent of the blame for the spill. He said drilling rig owner Transocean Ltd. takes 30 percent of the blame, and cement contractor Halliburton Energy Service takes 3 percent.

On Tuesday, it was reported that Halliburton agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a substantial portion of plaintiff claims arising from the spill.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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