By ANGEL GONZALEZ
BP on Monday accused oilfield-services giant Halliburton of
destroying unfavorable results from tests on cement used to
plug the leaking well in the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Halliburton prepared the cement mix that BP used to plug the
deep-water well that blew out in April 2010, killing 11 people
and unleashing a huge oil spill.
In a motion filed with a US court in Louisiana, BP said that
Halliburton's own tests after the incident showed the cement
slurry was unstable and claimed the company destroyed the
results of the test and misplaced key data.
Halliburton destroyed the evidence "in part because it wanted
to eliminate any risk that this evidence could be used against
it at trial," BP said in the filing. The UK oil company says it
bases its motion on deposition testimony by Halliburton
witnesses and internal documents.
Halliburton said it is still reviewing the details of the
motion but that it believes "the conclusion that BP is asking
the court to draw is without merit." Halliburton also said, "We
look forward to contesting their motion in court."
BP's salvo is the latest in a multipronged legal fight
pitting one of the world's largest oil companies against its
contractors over their share of responsibility for the US Gulf
of Mexico oil spill.
BP has said its contractors, including Halliburton, share part
of the blame; Halliburton has said that BP directed all
operations and is at fault. In September, Halliburton sued BP
for defamation and for providing inaccurate information before
the cementing job in the Deepwater Horizon well.
According to BP's filing, Halliburton told its employees in
late April or early May 2010 to test a batch of the cement at a
facility in Duncan, Okla.
The testing showed that the solids in the cement mixture were
separating from the liquids, a sign of instability, according
BP says that a Halliburton employee said under oath that "he
destroyed test results in order to keep the information from
being 'misinterpreted' in ways adverse to Halliburton in
Dow Jones Newswires