BP alleges US concealing size of Macondo spill

AS BP prepares for several legal challenges regarding the damage caused from the Macondo disaster in 2010, the British oil major has accused the US government of withholding evidence that might show the oil spill was smaller than originally claimed.
BP alleges US concealing size of Macondo spill BP alleges US concealing size of Macondo spill BP alleges US concealing size of Macondo spill BP alleges US concealing size of Macondo spill BP alleges US concealing size of Macondo spill

If the spill was smaller than federal officials claimed, it would lower the maximum civil fine BP could be forced to pay.

Based on current estimates, BP could face a maximum fine of up $US17.6 billion.

According to Reuters, BP said more than 10,000 documents the government was refusing to hand over appear to relate to flow rate issues at the ruptured Macondo well.

The government estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil spilled from Macondo but BP said the documents might show the estimate was too high.

The government is refusing to release the documents because they are considered privileged as they reflect policy deliberations.

On Friday, a US Magistrate directed BP and the government to meet to try and resolve the disagreements.

The government has until April 5 to respond to BP's argument.

The government is one of many plaintiffs suing BP over the Macondo disaster.

Last month, BP reached a $7.8 billion out of court settlement with fishermen and other private claimants over the damage caused by the disaster.

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