NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP and the federal government have offered conflicting estimates of how much oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico after the blowout of the company's Macondo well triggered a deadly explosion, less than a month before a high-stakes trial resumes.

In a court filing Thursday, BP urges U. S. District Judge Carl Barbier to use an estimate of 2.45 million barrels, or nearly 103 million gallons (400 million liters), in determining how much oil spilled into the Gulf in 2010 and calculating any Clean Water Act fines.

Justice Department experts estimate that around 4.2 million barrels, or approximately 176 million gallons (666 million liters), spilled into the water.

The second phase of a trial designed to determine how much more money London-based BP PLC and its contractors owe for the 2010 disaster is scheduled to start on Sept. 30.

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