BP disputes Gulf spill estimates as it prepares for phase two of trial

|About: BP p.l.c. (BP)|By:, SA News Editor

BP (BP +0.7%) says its Macondo well leaked 2.45M barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in the 2010 disaster, nearly 2M less than the U.S. government’s estimate, as it prepares for phase two of the trial over the spill, set to begin Sept. 30.

BP says the U.S. estimates are based on a "flawed approach" and "faulty assumptions," according to court filings.

The argument will make a difference of up to $7B in the penalties facing BP under the Clean Water Act, which can reach a maximum $4,300/bbl in cases of gross negligence or willful misconduct; BP has accepted its employees were negligent, implying a lower penalty of up to $1,100/bbl, but denies the other accusations.