BP says Halliburton destroyed Gulf spill evidence: report

6th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

British energy giant BP has accused Halliburton of intentionally destroying evidence to conceal its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil rig disaster, CNN reported Tuesday.

In documents filed at a federal court in New Orleans, BP said Halliburton had destroyed evidence on cement slurry testing and refused to provide "inexplicably missing" computer modeling results, according to CNN.

"Halliburton's refusal has been unwavering, despite repeated BP discovery requests and a specific order from this Court," CNN said, quoting from the documents.

"BP has now learned the reason for Halliburton's intransigence -- Halliburton destroyed the results of physical slurry testing, and it has, at best, lost the computer modeling outputs that showed no channeling.

"More egregious still, Halliburton intentionally destroyed the evidence related to its nonprivileged cement testing, in part because it wanted to eliminate any risk that this evidence would be used against it at trial."

CNN quoted a Halliburton spokeswoman as saying that the company was reviewing the motion but believed the allegations were "without merit."

Neither company could immediately be reached for comment on the report.

An explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20, 2010 killed 11 people, and the well gushed oil into the ocean for 87 days, blackening the southern US shoreline and crippling the local tourism and fishing sectors.

By the time the well was capped, 4.9 million barrels (206 million gallons) of oil had spilled out of the runaway well 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.

In October, the US government slapped BP, Transocean -- the Swiss owner and operator of the drilling rig -- and US oil services group Halliburton with citations for violating oil industry regulations in what is expected to lead to massive fines for the deadly 2010 oil spill.

BP -- which leased the rig and was ultimately responsible for operations -- has spent $40.7 billion on the biggest maritime oil spill in history and could still be liable for billions in fines, compensation and restoration costs.

In October, it recovered $4.0 billion in costs associated with the spill from US group Anadarko Petroleum Company, which agreed to transfer its 25 percent stake in the well to BP.

© 2011 AFP

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