British oil giant BP accused oilfield services company Halliburton of having "intentionally destroyed evidence" related to last year's explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that caused the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, U.S. media reported Tuesday.
Halliburton Energy Services Inc., the contractor for BP on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, destroyed evidence on cement testing and violated court orders by not bringing forth "inexplicably missing" computer modeling results, BP said Monday in a filing in a New Orleans federal court.
"Halliburton has steadfastly refused to provide these critical testing and modeling results in discovery. Halliburton's refusal has been unwavering, despite repeated BP discovery requests and a specific order from this court," the BP filing said.
Halliburton destroyed the results of physical slurry testing, "and it has, at best, lost the computer modeling outputs that showed no channeling," the document said.
"More egregious still, Halliburton intentionally destroyed the evidence related to its non-privileged cement testing, in part because it wanted to eliminate any risk that this evidence would be used against it at trial," BP said.
BP asked U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans to rule that Halliburton's slurry design was "unstable," a fact which could be used at the trial.
BP and Halliburton are suing each other over which company is mainly responsible for the explosion, which killed 11 workers and led to the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
BP also has sued Transocean, owner of the rig, and Cameron International Corp., which made the blowout preventer on BP's Macondo well.
The well ruptured after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank in April last year, spewing up to 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf for nearly three months.
The final federal report on the spill, released in September, blamed BP and its two contractors for a series of mistakes they had made that caused the explosion and ensuing spill.