NEW ORLEANS, April 17 The first phase of a trial
to determine blame for BP Plc's 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil
spill came to an end on Wednesday, with the judge allowing 80
days for the determination of findings and conclusions.
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said he would allow 60 days
for the filing of briefs, and then 20 more days for reply
briefs, as all the parties work toward a September start of the
second phase of the trial.
The Deepwater Horizon disaster, on April 20, 2010, killed 11
people and caused the worst U.S. offshore spill.
The first phase was to determine blame between BP and its
contractors - rig owner Transocean Ltd and cement
provider Halliburton Co - as well as the level of
negligence involved in the accident.
"I appreciate the fact that we were able to complete this
trial in two months rather than the three months everyone
projected when this began," Barbier told the court in New
Orleans. "I know it's been demanding at times."
The first phase lasted just short of eight weeks.