BP accuses Halliburton of destroying evidence following Gulf spill
BP has accused Halliburton of destroying damaging evidence about the quality of its cement slurry that went into drilling the oil well that blew out last year and caused the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
In a court filing, the oil company alleged that Halliburton did inadequate cement work. BP also asked a federal judge to punish the oilfield services company.
The accusation raises the stakes ahead of a trial, expected in late February, to assign blame and damages for the April 2010 blowout of the Macondo well, which triggered the spill.
Citing recent depositions and Halliburton’s own documents, BP said Halliburton “intentionally” destroyed the results of slurry testing for the well, in part to “eliminate any risk that this evidence would be used against it at trial.”
Also in the documents filed in a New Orleans federal court, BP accused Halliburton of failing to produce incriminating computer modeling evidence. BP accused Halliburton of claiming the modeling is gone.
BP asked U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier to penalize Halliburton and order a court-sponsored computer forensic team to recover the missing modeling results.
Beverly Blohm Stafford, a spokeswoman for Halliburton, told Reuters the Houston-based company is reviewing BP’s filing.
“We believe that the conclusion that BP is asking the court to draw is without merit and we look forward to contesting their motion in court,” she said.