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The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burning in the Gulf of Mexico on April 21, 2010.
The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burning in the Gulf of Mexico on April 21, 2010.
(GERALD HERBERT/AP)

Financial Times

BP verdict will deliver badly needed certainty

Lex is a premium daily commentary service from the Financial Times. It helps readers make better investment decisions by highlighting key emerging risks and opportunities.

Three years after the Deepwater Horizon accident, BP is trudging up the courtroom steps. The oil and gas supermajor is due in court in New Orleans on Monday for what could be the definitive hearing on the April, 2010, incident in the Gulf of Mexico. The trial will assess liability and decide whether gross negligence was involved. It could make a $14-billion (U.S.) difference to BP’s total Clean Water Act (CWA) penalties. That is a lot of money. But it is no longer the real issue.