Tags: BP | Info | Gulf | Well

BP Says It Didn’t Hide Information About Gulf Well Blowout

Tuesday, 20 Sep 2011 03:54 PM

BP Plc said it didn’t hide information about a possibly dangerous condition in the Macondo oil well before or after it blew out in April 2010, killing 11 people and triggering the biggest U.S. offshore oil spill.

BP personnel determined that a sand layer above the blast site was water-bearing rather than a gas-containing “hydrocarbon zone” and provided supporting data to its well partners before the blowout, according to a court filing yesterday. BP investigators reported publicly after the explosion that this may have been gas-containing sand, while determining it wasn’t a cause of the incident, the company said in the filing.

A Halliburton Co. unit that provided cementing services for the well asked a federal court in New Orleans Sept. 1 to allow it to add a claim of fraud in its lawsuit against BP over the spill, contending concealment of the hydrocarbon zone. Halliburton shouldn’t be allowed to add the new claim, BP said in its filing.

“There is no evidence that BP held the pre-incident belief that the sand was hydrocarbon-bearing, or that it had any intent to conceal,” the company said in the filing. BP distributed information about the shallower sand within days after the incident, the company said.

Tara Mullee Agard, a spokeswoman for Houston-based Halliburton, didn’t immediately return a call and e-mail seeking comment on the BP filing.

Hundreds of Lawsuits

The Macondo blowout and spill led to hundreds of lawsuits against London-based BP and its partners and contractors. The lawsuits over economic losses and personal injuries have been combined before U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans.

The lawsuits also name as defendants Transocean Ltd., the Switzerland-based owner and operator of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that exploded; Halliburton; Cameron International Corp., which provided blowout-prevention equipment; and BP’s minority partners in the well, Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Mitsui & Co.’s Moex Offshore LLC unit.

A separate Halliburton suit against BP, filed in Texas state court in Houston, alleges slander and business disparagement, contending that the oil company “knew or should have known about an additional hydrocarbon zone in the well that BP failed to disclose” before Halliburton designed the cement program for the well, according to the complaint. Halliburton said it wouldn’t have pumped cement had it known of the zone.

Assigning Blame

BP failed to disclose this after the blowout as well, in an effort to blame others for the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, Halliburton said. Halliburton filed a proposed amendment in its suit against BP in federal court in New Orleans, seeking to add fraud claims.

BP asked Barbier to reject the fraud claims because Halliburton filed them months after a deadline for cross- complaints in the litigation and they would prove a disadvantage to the company in preparing for trial. Trial on liability is set for Feb. 27 before Barbier.

“At this late stage, Halliburton’s undue delay would severely prejudice BP if the new claims were allowed,” the company said. “Halliburton’s proposed amendment brings ten pages of new allegations after the close of fact discovery.”

The federal case is In Re Oil Spill by the Oil Rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, MDL- 2179, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans).


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BP Plc said it didn t hide information about a possibly dangerous condition in the Macondo oil well before or after it blew out in April 2010, killing 11 people and triggering the biggest U.S. offshore oil spill. BP personnel determined that a sand layer above the blast...
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Tuesday, 20 Sep 2011 03:54 PM
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