Photo: BP Claiming After Gulf Oil Spill, Halliburton Destroyed Evidence
BP Plc accused Halliburton of “intentionally” destroying evidence linked to the April 2010 explosion of a drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico that caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
In a document presented Monday to a federal court in New Orleans, BP asked Judge Carl Barbier to impose sanctions on Halliburton for the explosion at the deepsea Macondo well, a blast which killed 11 people, injured another 16 and spilled almost 5 million barrels of oil into the sea.
The new charge came within the framework of a lawsuit filed against Halliburton Energy Services Inc., which was working under contract to BP on the Deepwater Horizon platform.
BP alleged that Halliburton destroyed evidence about cement testing in the oil well, in part to “eliminate any risk that this evidence would be used against it at trial.” An oil well must be cemented properly to prevent it from blowing out and leaking.
BP also said that Halliburton violated a judicial order by not turning over computer files related to the results of the cement slurry tests.
Consequently, the oil firm asked the judge to order an investigation to determine the whereabouts of the files, which Halliburton claims have simply disappeared.
Halliburton spokesperson Beverly Blohm Stafford told reporters that the company is reviewing the documents but, right from the start, she said it feels that “the conclusion that BP is asking the court to draw is without merit and we look forward to contesting their motion in court.”
The oil spill, which was the topic of congressional hearings and multiple investigations, gave rise to multi-billion dollar lawsuits.
Halliburton, the second largest provider of petroleum services in the world, has accused BP of fraud and defamation.