Halliburton Co. shares fell on Tuesday after BP accused it of destroying evidence related to the Deepwater Horizon blowout last year as the companies move closer to a trial that will determine who will pay which bills from the nation's worst offshore oil spill.
BP filed court papers on Monday accusing Halliburton of intentionally destroying evidence about possible problems with the cement slurry poured into the Macondo well about 100 miles off the Louisiana coast. BP also accused Halliburton of failing to produce incriminating computer modeling evidence. BP accused Halliburton of claiming the modeling is gone.
BP has asked a federal judge to penalize Halliburton and order a computer forensic team to recover the missing modeling results. Halliburton has denied the accusations, but did not immediately respond to a phone message seeing comment on Tuesday.
The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon blast killed 11 workers and led to the release of 206 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. BP was the majority owner of the well, but Transocean Ltd. owned the rig and Halliburton made the cement used to plug the well.
Federal and independent investigations of the disaster have found fault in Halliburton's cement job.
The first trial over the disaster is scheduled to start Feb. 27 in New Orleans. The first phase will determine the liability of each company involved in drilling the Macondo well. Other phases will determine who pays cleanup costs, punitive damages and other claims.
The three companies have been sparring over blame for the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon blast. So far, BP has footed the bill for the emergency response and cleanup.
Halliburton shares fell $1.82, or 5 percent, to $35.20 in midday trading. The shares have ranged between a low of $27.21 in October to a high of $57.77 in July over the past year.
BP shares added 8 cents to $43.65, while Transocean shares gained 29 cents to $45.30.
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