The start of BP’s Macondo oil spill trial has been delayed until next week as BP continues to seek a settlement that will address its role in the spill. BP and the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee released a joint statement Sunday confirming that the Deepwater Horizon Multi-District Litigation 2179 civil trial would be adjourned until Monday, March 5, 2012.
The adjournment is intended to allow BP and the PSC more time to continue settlement discussions and attempt to reach an agreement. “BP and the PSC are working to reach agreement to fairly compensate people and businesses affected by the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill,” said the statement.
The news comes after BP CEO Bob Dudley told the British press this weekend that he believed the legal battle between BP and the US Department of Justice could last into 2014.
In the UK’s Sunday Telegraph, Dudley reiterated that BP was ready for a long, drawn-out battle and that he believed the trial could stretch into 2014. “Hopefully we will reach some agreements and we will be able to reduce the uncertainty and move forward. But the appeals process has various different branches it could go down in terms of time so it could be a lot longer than that,” he told the paper.
Earlier this month, on February 7, Dudley said the firm was “preparing vigorously for trial.”
The trial, originally due to begin on February 27, will apportion blame and liability for an explosion aboard Deepwater Horizon, a BP-operated rig, that killed 11 men and cause the worst offshore oil spill in US history.