BP estimated more than a year ago that it would spend roughly $7.8 billion to resolve tens of thousands of claims by businesses and individuals covered by the settlement. The company now says it can't give a reliable estimate for the total value of the deal.
Barbier also heard testimony earlier this year for a first phase of a trial designed to identify the causes of BP's April 2010 well blowout and assign percentages of fault to the companies involved.
Billions more hinge on the outcome of the trial, which includes claims by the federal government and Gulf states. It's unclear whether Barbier will issue any substantive rulings before the trial's second phase, which is scheduled to start in the fall.
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