The oil giant BP is accused of lying about how much crude oil was leaking into the Gulf of Mexico after its well blew out there in 2010.
The accusations were directed at BP at the opening of the second phase of the company’s trial by plaintiffs’ attorney who also argued that the oil company was unprepared for blowout.
Brian Barr said BP worsened the problem by lying about how much oil was flowing from the well. BP says 2.4 million barrels of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico from its blown-out well but the US Department of Justice estimate stands at over 4 million barrels.
“BP refused to spend any time or money preparing to stop a deepwater blowout at its source,” said Barr.
BP lawyers denied the accusations saying it was impossible to prepare in advance for such an incident one mile below the sea floor.
“BP had a response plan that was fully consistent with U.S. standards for spill preparedness,” said a BP attorney, Mike Brock.
The April 2010 oil spill caused one of America’s worst environmental disasters when BP’s Deepwater Horizon well exploded in the Gulf of Mexico sending oil gushing for three months into the Gulf. The explosion and sinking of the well claimed 11 lives.
BP says œthe accident involved a well integrity failure, followed by a loss of hydrostatic control of the well. This was followed by a failure to control the flow from the well with the blowout preventer (BOP) equipment, which allowed the release and subsequent ignition of hydrocarbons. Ultimately, the BOP emergency functions failed to seal the well after the initial explosions.”
Plaintiffs’ lawyers claim BP knew its so-called “top kill” method that it used to stop the flow of oil by pumping drilling mud and other material into the head of the leaking well was doomed to fail based on higher flow rate estimates that the company didn’t share with federal officials at the time.
“BP then made the situation worse by lying about the amount of flow from the well,” Barr said.
But BP attorney Brock said “BP did not misrepresent the flow rate in a way that caused a delay in the shut in of the well. It made reasonable decisions based on what was known at each step along the way.”
BP may face $18bn in fines for the disaster.
Copyright: Press TV