It is coming to fists again over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This time, however, it isn’t the people of the gulf against big oil, it is the oil companies against each other. BP is accusing Halliburton of knowingly destroying the results from a test on cement slurry at the site and seemingly losing computer modeling of the cement at the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Both are considered pieces of evidence that could prove Halliburton installed faulty cement at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, causing the well to rupture and spill 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Quoting from court documents that were obtained in New Orleans, CNN reports, “Halliburton’s refusal has been unwavering, despite repeated BP discovery requests and a specific order from this Court.” The documents go on to report the missing slurry testing and computer modeling, adding, “more egregious still, Halliburton intentionally destroyed the evidence related to its non-privileged cement testing, in part because it wanted to eliminate any risk that this evidence would be used against it at trial.”
Neither BP nor Halliburton spokespeople are discussing the issue in depth with reporters but a Halliburton spokesperson told CNN that the allegations were “without merit.” At the time of the oil spill BP was leasing the rig from Transocean and therefore was responsible for operating the rig and anything that went wrong during that process. BP has spent an estimated $40.7 billion on the clean up of the spill. After the catastrophe the US government cited Halliburton, Transocean and BP an action that should eventually lead to huge fines for all three companies. If it is proven in court that Halliburton’s poor cement installation was the cause of the spill, the other companies could possibly see their fines reduced and Halliburton’s expanded.