The first indictment
in connection with BP
's Deepwater Horizon spill sets the stage for a fight over just how much oil was spilled
. For every barrel BP spilled, a court can levy fines up to $1,100/barrel if the spill was accidental, or up to $4,300 if gross negligence. If the government can prove BP was hiding flow rates, it may sway the court to settle on a higher number for the volume of oil spilled.