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Judge blames BP for US oil spill

A US federal judge has ruled that BP’s reckless conduct resulted in the nation’s worst offshore oil spill, leaving the company open to billions of dollars in penalties.

Louisiana district judge Carl Barbier’s ruling could nearly quadruple the amount of civil penalties for polluting the Gulf of Mexico with oil from BP’s Macondo well in 2010.

Mr Barbier presided over a trial in 2013 to apportion blame for the spill that spewed oil from April 20 to mid-July 2010. Eleven men died when the well blew. BP already has agreed to billions of dollars in criminal fines.

The judge said BP bears 67% of the blame for the spill, drilling rig owner Transocean takes 30% of the blame, and cement contractor Halliburton Energy Service takes 3%.

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