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Trial wraps up over billion-dollar question: how much oil spilled in BP's 2010 Gulf disaster

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

NEW ORLEANS - Two weeks of courtroom debate have come to an end over how much oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico after BP PLC's 2010 rig disaster.

Friday's testimony wrapped up the second phase of a trial over the Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed 11 workers.

Government experts estimate 176 million gallons spilled into the Gulf. BP attorneys have urged U.S. District Judge Barbier set the figure at nearly 103 million gallons.

The amount would be used to calculate any Clean Water Act penalties that BP would have to pay.

Using government figures, a maximum penalty if the company is found grossly negligent could total $18 billion. The company's figures would cut that maximum to around $10.5 billion.

U.S District Judge Carl Barbier did not say when he will rule.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/the-canadian-press/131018/trial-wraps-over-billion-dollar-question-how-much-oil-spille