U.S. judge denies BP request for White House e-mails over oil spill

10:47, July 22, 2011      

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-- A U.S. judge Wednesday denied British oil giant British Petroleum (BP)'s request for e-mails to President Barack Obama regarding last year's disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

U.S. Magistrate Sally Shushan didn't support BP's request to the Obama administration to turn over e-mails from Carol Browner, Obama's former energy and climate adviser, as she believes that BP "has not made a sufficient demonstration of need for the documents."

BP can renew its bid for the e-mails if future documents demonstrate "a need for the discovery," she said.

BP said in a court filing Wednesday in New Orleans, Louisiana, that the e-mails from Browner were essential, since they can shed light on the U.S. government's estimation of the rate of oil flow into the Gulf of Mexico from the blown-out oil well, an estimation that can affect BP's financial liability, BP said.

BP's Macondo well ruptured after an oil rig exploded and sank on April 20 last year, spewing up to 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico for nearly three months in the world's worst marine oil spill.

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