"Plaintiffs in the lawsuit against BP over damages from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill won't be allowed to bring up the oil giant's spotty past safety record, including a major accident in Texas City, Texas, nor will they be allowed to use the contents of a series of reports on the causes of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled Thursday.
Plaintiffs' attorneys will go first and get 75 minutes to speak.
BP PLC, owner of the blown-out well, gets 90 minutes. Rig owner Transocean Ltd. and cement contractor Halliburton each get an hour.
Barbier gave the federal government 45 minutes and allocated 20 minutes for state governments.
The remaining 50 minutes will be split by other companies sued over the 2010 disaster."
INSTITUTE INDEX - Time of trials for BP?
The civil trial for the 2010 Gulf oil disaster is scheduled to get underway this month in New Orleans -- unless BP reaches a settlement with the federal government, which some think is likely.
Date on which the Gulf oil spill trial is scheduled to begin in New Orleans unless a settlement is reached: 2/27/2012
Percent chance that BP will settle with the federal government before then, according to the former head of the U.S. Justice Department's Environmental Crimes Section: 70 to 80
Anticipated settlement: $20 billion to $25 billion
Rank of the BP case among the biggest private litigations in U.S. history: 1
Number of individual lawsuits that have been consolidated into the suit: 535
Number of witnesses expected to take the stand in the trial, which will determine how to apportion blame among BP and the other companies involved in the disaster: 303
Pages of documents that have been produced by parties to the litigation: 72 million
Settlement already paid to BP by Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum, one of the partners in the ill-fated Macondo well, for its role in the disaster: $4 billion
BP's settlement with Macondo partner MOEX, a Houston-based subsidiary of Japanese oil and gas exploration firm Mitsui & Co: $1.065 billion
With Cameron International, Houston-based manufacturer of the failed blowout preventer: $250 million
With Weatherford International, Houston-based manufacturer of a key piece of equipment used in cementing the failed well: $75 million
BP's estimate of total damages from the Gulf disaster: $43 billion
Amount BP has set aside to pay for damages from the spill: $20 billion
Portion paid out to date: $7.8 billion
Net earnings BP reported in 2011: $23.9 billion
Rank of BP among best-performing Big Oil stocks: 1
Percent by which BP raised stockholders' dividend this week, the first upgrade since the Gulf disaster: 14
Number of oil rigs BP expects to be operating in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico by the end of this year: 8