The liability trial in the case of the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill begins. The US Justice Department accused the company of "gross negligence and wilful misconduct". Despite reports about the company's attempt to reach a settlement and avoid trial, talks have failed between its representatives and the US Department of Justice and other federal agencies.
"Whilst it (BP) is ready to settle on reasonable terms, a number of unresolved issues remain and there is significant uncertainty as to whether an agreement will ultimately be reached." BP said in its results statement.
"BP has repeatedly said that it is willing to settle on reasonable terms but otherwise continues to prepare vigorously for the start of trial."A final report on the causes of the oil spill placed the blame with the BP oil concern and its partners. The reasons lay in a series of cost-cutting decisions and a failure to ensure the safety of the drilling unit.
If the US government succeeds in proving gross negligence on the part of BP, the damages the oil giant will have to pay may triple to $21 billion.