BP engineer charged with criminal offenses in Deepwater Horizon investigationA judge in New Orleans federal court today released a ruling that British oil giant BP acted with gross negligence in relation to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, which killed 11 workers, injured 16 others and caused a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico -- the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history.

67 percent of the blame

In a long-awaited ruling, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier held that BP, Transocean Ltd. And Halliburton Co. were all to blame, although not equally. Barbier apportioned the blame at 67 percent for BP, 30 percent for Transocean and three percent for Halliburton.

In his decision, Barbier termed BP’s conduct “reckless,” while Transocean’s and Halliburton’s was “negligent.”

What news sources are saying:

Bloomberg reports that the ruling could result in billions of dollars in penalties for BP.

The Houston Chronicle explains that this finding of gross negligence could open the door to a maximum fine of $18 billion under the Clean Water Act.

On Wednesday, Halliburton, the company BP hired to cement the oil well in the Gulf of Mexico,agreed to settle a lawsuit with thousands of businesses in the Gulf region for $1.1 billion.

The New York Times reports that the fines will be set next year.