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Oil can be seen in the Gulf of Mexico as a large plume of smoke rises from fires on BP's Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig on April 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(Bloomberg) – BP Plc acted with gross negligence in setting off the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, a federal judge ruled, handing down a long-awaited decision that may force the energy company to pay billions of dollars more for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster.

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