First BP oil spill arrest: Why put the squeeze on a mid-level engineer?
- From: JAB <here@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2012 18:58:33 -0500
The arrest of former BP engineer Kurt Mix two years after the
Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, causing the
biggest offshore oil disaster in the US, suggests that the federal
government is still looking for answers about what the oil giant knew,
and when, as it sought to convince the public, investors, and US
officials that it had the situation in hand.
In the first such criminal indictment related to the BP oil spill, Mr.
Mix, of Kady, Texas, appeared Tuesday in court in Houston, charged
with obstruction for allegedly destroying some 300 e-mails and text
messages related to what BP knew about the true flow rate of the
Macondo well in the days after the explosion. Eleven rig workers died
in the accident, and at least 4 million barrels of oil spewed into the
One e-mail the FBI was able to retrieve suggested that BP knew its
first attempt to cap the well ? the so-called "top kill" ? would
probably fail, even though the company told the public and the
government that it had a 60 to 70 percent chance of success.
Mix told his superviser that the top kill wasn?t working because the
flow rate was more than 15,000 barrels per day. BP had suggested
publicly at the time that the rate was about 5,000 barrels per day,
and had said that a higher volume could doom the top kill maneuver,
which involved pumping heavy mud at high velocity into the well in
order to beat back the oil and seal the well.
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