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    Second phase of BP oil spill trial

    Justice Department attorneys rested their case Wednesday in the federal civil trial of BP and Anadarko Petroleum Corp., as the firms and the government continued to argue over how much oil was released into the Gulf of Mexico in the 87 days following the April 20, 2010, blowout of BP's Macondo well.

    Justice attorneys finished questioning experts who support the government's contention that the oil spill resulted in the release of at least 4.2 million barrels of oil into Gulf. BP and Anadarko have maintained that only 2.45 million barrels of oil were released, and are set to begin making their case Thursday.

    U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier is presiding over the trial without a jury, listening attentively and interrupting at times with his own questions about the often mind-numbing testimony describing the physics and mathematical equations that experts from both sides have used to estimate the flow of oil.

    BP's estimate would result in maximum fines of $2.7 billion, billion, if Barbier decides the company and its drilling partners acted with simple negligence, or $10.5 billion if the companies committed gross negligence in their actions during the drilling of the well and in stemming the flow of oil after the blowout. Details:

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