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Apr 17, 2013 11:55 PM by Eric Ross

Testimony ends for 1st phase of BP spill trial

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Testimony has concluded for the first phase of a high-stakes trial over the deadly 2010 rig explosion that led to the nation's worst offshore oil spill.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier didn't rule Wednesday on any claims in the litigation after BP PLC wrapped up its defense.

The trial started Feb. 25 and also included testimony by witnesses for the federal government, a team of private plaintiffs' attorneys, rig owner Transocean Ltd. and cement contractor Halliburton.

The trial's first phase was intended to identify causes of the blowout of BP's Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico and assign fault to the companies.

Barbier heard eight weeks of testimony without a jury. Barring a settlement, he could decide how much more money BP and its contractors owe for the disaster.

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