A story published today by CNN reports oil giant BP is accusing Halliburton, a contractor on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, of having “intentionally destroyed evidence” related to the explosion aboard the rig. The explosion killed 11 workers on the rig and led to the worst oil spill in U.S. history. It is estimated more than 200 million gallons of oil were spilled into the Gulf before the damaged well could be capped. Additionally, thousands of gallons of chemical dispersants were dumped into the water during the crisis. In June 2010, 37 percent of Gulf waters were closed to fishing due to contamination as a result of the spill.
According to the story by CNN’s Vivian Kuo, “The accusation comes in court papers filed by BP Monday in federal court in New Orleans as part of a lawsuit aimed at having sanctions imposed on Halliburton Energy Services Inc., which was a contractor for BP on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. An explosion on the rig on April 20, 2010, killed 11 people working on the rig and injured 16 others. The explosion led to more than 200 million gallons of oil being released into the Gulf.
BP alleges in its filing that Halliburton destroyed evidence on cement testing and violated court orders by not bringing forth “inexplicably missing” computer modeling results.
“Halliburton has steadfastly refused to provide these critical testing and modeling results in discovery. Halliburton’s refusal has been unwavering, despite repeated BP discovery requests and a specific order from this Court,” the documents state.
“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,” the BP papers say.
When reached for comment Monday, Halliburton spokeswoman Beverly Stafford said the company was reviewing the details of the motion.
“However, we believe that the conclusions that BP is asking the court to draw is without merit and we look forward to contesting their motion in court.”