On Sept. 30, BP PLC will attempt to convince a federal judge that its efforts to stop the leak from the Deepwater Horizon disaster were sufficient. The jury-less civil trial will also seek to determine how much oil was leaked in to the Gulf of Mexico and will determine what fines the company will pay for violations of the federal Clean Water Act.
At the heart of the trial is a disagreement as to how much oil was actually leaked in the 2010 disaster. While both BP and the Department of Justice agree that roughly 810,000 barrels were captured by spill containment tactics, BP claims that only 2.45 million barrels were leaked in total. The DOJ estimate is considerably higher at 4.2 million barrels.