Judge says difficult to determine how much oil spilled into Gulf of Mexico

During BP 2010 oil spill

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The federal judge presiding over a trial arising from the nation's worst offshore oil spill says it could be difficult to determine how much crude spewed into the Gulf of Mexico from BP's blown-out well in 2010.

Federal District Judge Carl Barbier noted during a hearing Thursday that there wasn't a "meter" attached to BP's Macondo well.

Barbier heard testimony earlier this year for the trial's first phase about possible causes of the disaster, which killed 11 rig workers. Determining how much oil spilled into the Gulf is a topic for the trial's second phase, set to begin Sept. 16.

BP PLC claims the federal government overestimated the spill's size. The government estimated more than 200 million gallons (757 million liters) spewed out, including more than 34 million gallons  (129 million liters) that were collected.

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