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BP to call first witness in oil spill case; first phase should end this month

NEW ORLEANS — BP is scheduled to call its first witness today at a trial designed to determine causes of its April 2010 well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico and assign fault to the companies involved in the deadly disaster.

Halliburton, BP PLC’s cement contractor on the Deepwater Horizon drilling project, rested its case last Thursday at the end of the trial’s sixth week. Testimony by BP’s witnesses is expected to last at least two weeks.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier is hearing testimony without a jury. Barring a settlement, he could decide how much more money BP and its contractors owe for their roles in the catastrophe.

The trial’s first phase should conclude later this month. Barbier plans to hold a second phase that examines BP’s efforts to stop the gusher.

 

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