December 31, 2011
(NaturalNews) A federal court will soon assess damages and lay blame for the massive Deepwater Horizon oil disaster that sent hundreds of millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and that killed 11 people, back in April 2010. And BP, which has taken most of the brunt for what quickly became the largest offshore oil spill disaster in US history, now says that contractor Halliburton is responsible, at least in part, because the company allegedly employed a faulty cement design in the failed rig.
The Christian Science-Monitor (CSM) reports that BP is asking a federal judge ahead of the upcoming trial to take into consideration Halliburton’s alleged role in the disaster. BP claims that Halliburton’s own documents confirm that the company “intentionally” destroyed evidence that would have proven its cement work on the Macando rig was faulty, and that it did so ahead of the trial in order to avert blame.
BP is petitioning US District Judge Carl Barbier of New Orleans, La., who is presiding over the litigation associated with the spill, to sanction Halliburton and rule that its cement slurry design was “unstable.” BP is also requesting that Judge Barbier hire forensic experts to dig up the lost computer models and other damning evidence, which Halliburton conveniently claims is simply “gone.”
“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,” wrote BP in its filing documents. “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.”
But Halliburton denies the allegations and says that BP has committed “fraud and defamation,” according to CSM. Halliburton spokeswoman Beverly Stafford says the allegations are “without merit” and that her company will contest them in court when the case is finally heard, which is expected to happen in February.
The aggregate of litigation associated with the disaster tabulates into the tens of billions of dollars, which is why both companies are trying to avert blame. Anadarko Petroleum Corp., however, which owned 25 percent of the well, has already agreed to pay BP $4 billion to help pay for damages — but this is only a drop in the bucket to cover the many more billions that will be assessed following the trial.
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