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Civil trial under way over BP oil spill

This news story was published on February 28, 2013.
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NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 27 (UPI) — Testimony began this week in a civil trial to determine how to share the blame for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Taped depositions given by Kevin Lacy, BP’s former head of drilling in the Gulf, and Tony Hayward, the former chief executive officer, were played Wednesday, the third day of the trial, The Wall Street Journal reported. Lacy said in the two years before the 2010 spill the company told him repeatedly to cut costs.

“I was never given a directive to cut corners or deliver something unsafe, but there was tremendous pressure on costs,” he said.

The explosion killed 11 people on the Deepwater Horizon rig and an estimated 4.9 billion barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf before the well was capped 87 days later.

Hayward was questioned about his cost-cutting statements.

Lamar McKay, who was chairman and CEO of BP America in 2010, testified Tuesday, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported. He said that Transocean, the owner of the rig, was responsible for safety.

This trial determines responsibility for the spill, while a second trial will hear evidence on how much oil went into the Gulf. The results of both could determine how much BP must pay for Clean Water Act violations, the Journal said.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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