Kyle Barnett Jul. 22, 2013, 5:45pm

NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Federal Judge Carl Barbier has ordered a delay in the second phase of the trial over the 2010 BP Oil Spill.

Barbier granted the delay after speaking with counsel from both BP and the plaintiffs’ steering committee. The second phase of the trial was originally scheduled to begin on Sept. 16, but is now set for Sept. 30 so that both sides will have more time to prepare arguments.

The second phase of the trial will determine fines under the Clean Water Act by calculating the amount of oil released and will analyze the actions taken by the defendants in stopping the release of oil and gasses from the well. Experts have said this part of trial may result in a fine estimated to be as high as $20 billion.

Testimony was given in the first phase of the trial over an eight week period earlier this year from February to April.

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