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BP oil spill trial delayed to 2013

May 4, 2012 at 7:23 AM

NEW ORLEANS, May 4 (UPI) -- A U.S. district court judge said British energy company BP would face trial for the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in January.

BP claimed a victory when U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans postponed the U.S. government's trial until next year. The court issued a preliminary approval for a $7.8 billion settlement for those impacted by the spill, however.

BP had asked the court to consider the delay to avoid any "overlapping or parallel" actions regarding the settlement, reports British newspaper The Daily Telegraph. The New Orleans court had said it wouldn't issue its final ruling on the settlement until November.

Last month, the FBI accused former BP engineer Kurt Mix of deleting electronic records related to the amount of oil was leaking from the Macondo well under the Deepwater Horizon rig after it exploded in April 2010. Mix issued a not guilty plea in a New Orleans court this week.

It's estimated that oil spilled at a rate of more than 50,000 barrels per day following the April 2010 accident, though BP cited an initial volume that was less than 10 percent of that figure.

BP said it wouldn't comment on charges against Mix.

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