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Mon 5 Mar 2012

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill hearings begin

  • By Maja Micudova
  • Last Update: 3 years ago
  • Louisiana, Missouri, United States

Gulf of Mexico oil spill

Flickr- Soan Hovasapyan

A trial of British oil giant BP in the case of Gulf of Mexico oil spill begins.

The spill was caused by an explosion of the ultra-deepwater oil drilling rig Deepwater Horizon in April of 2010. The rig was drilling on Macondo Prospect, operated by BP Oil and Gas Company. The explosion and a subsequent burn out of the drilling unit resulted in a massive offshore oil spill. Three months of constant oil flow into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, made the BP oil disaster the largest marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. 

53 000 barrels of crude oil escaping from the well every day created a 210 square kilometer deadly zone for all sea creatures. The damage on nature and wildlife caused by the Deepawater Horizon oil spill is by some environmental organization actually described as apocalyptic rather than disastrous. 

Final report on the cause of the oil spill placed the blame on the BP oil concern and its partners. The reasons lay in a series of cost-cutting decisions and a failure to ensure the drilling unit safety. It is also believed that the Gulf of Mexico disaster was not an 'isolated incident' but rather a particle in the chain of BP's failures. The concern, however, won the ruling to keep the previous accidents out of the courtroom.  

The trial opens with seven hours of opening statements by lawyers for the plaintiffs, government entities and companies involved in the trial. 

It was initially supposed to be held on February 27 but has been delayed due to continuing negotiations in order to reach a settlement to 'fairly compensate people and businesses'.

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