BP could be in more hot water in the coming weeks now that former BP engineer Kurt Mix may be implicating the company's senior management and their role in underreporting oil spillage from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion.
Attorneys for Mix, who has been brought up on criminal charges by the U.S. Department of Justice, say they will release internal emails during the criminal hearings that show how Mix notified his superiors of the underreporting and attempted to address the problem.
Following the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, according to reports, BP allegedly destroyed evidence and intentionally lied about the rate of the spillage in order to avoid greater fines from the government.
BP consistently claimed it was unable to provide an accurate flow rate, despite its “cutting edge” sonar-based flow metering technology that it had boasted about back in 2008. Frontiers, BP’s technology and innovation magazine, released an article that year about the technology, which Nicolas Morlino, a research and development program manager for BP, said was able to provide a flow rate within five percent accuracy.
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Mix is charged with obstructing justice by destroying evidence and text messages regarding how much oil was actually spilling out of the well. The emails, according to Mix’s attorneys, will show how Mix tried to warn his superiors about the inaccurate spill rate. However, Mix will likely be implicated if it is found he did indeed delete text messages about the cover-up.
BP and the Department of Justice just recently reached a settlement of $4.5 billion worth of fines and payments in November, but individual prosecutions will continue, especially in light of these released emails.
The well spilled almost five million barrels of crude oil before it was capped in July 2010, three months after the initial explosion. Oil was still slowing seeping out of the well as of October 2012.