Judge extends deadline on BP oil spill case

A federal judge has given BP Plc and lawyers for individuals and businesses who claimed they were harmed by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill more time to file details of their proposed settlements.

US District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans extended the deadline related to the estimated $7.8bn (£4.9bn) accord over the Deepwater Horizon accident to Wednesday morning from Monday.

He said lawyers and a magistrate judge handling part of the case had advised that a brief extension was needed to complete supporting documentation and exhibits. Some of the related paperwork was filed with the New Orleans court late.

This coming Friday is the two-year anniversary of the accident, which killed 11 people and led to the largest US offshore oil spill.

BP agreed in principle on 2 March with the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee to resolve claims by more than 100,000 private plaintiffs for economic and property damages.

The London-based oil company and the lawyers are also working on a separate settlement to resolve medical claims.

These settlements require court approval. They do not resolve separate claims raised against BP by the US government, Gulf Coast states and drilling partners Transocean Ltd and Halliburton Co.

Barbier has not set a trial date to address these disputes. A trial that had been set for February 27 has been postponed.