Lord Browne, the outgoing chief executive of British Petroleum, will have to attend a Houston appeals court to answer questions regarding the fatal explosion at the firm's Texas City refinery, BigOil.net has reported.

<p>While BP has already settled with the families of 15 employees that were unfortunately killed as a result of the explosion, Lord Browne will now have to testify in a separate case conducted on behalf of 170 people who allege that they were injured by the disaster. <br /><br />BP argues that its CEO has no direct knowledge that would make him a relevant witness to call. However, as it has already been established that the accident was caused by safety failures that were themselves the result of budget cuts, attorneys for the plaintiffs want to question Lord Browne about his decision making regarding the cut backs.<br /><br />BigOil.net reports that BP wants to resolve this case out of court and that it has set aside $1.6 billion to settle claims.<br /><br /></p>