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BP Engineer Arrested in Spill Investigation

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Posted on Apr 24, 2012
ideum (CC-BY)

Tugboats battle flames on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010.

Federal officials haven’t gone after any BP executives for damage done by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, but on Tuesday they did arrest a former senior engineer for allegedly deleting text messages indicating that the leak was much greater than the company led the public and the government to believe.

BP at the time was reporting that between 1,000 and 5,000 barrels of oil per day was leaking from the blown-out well. Official government measurements taken from the wellhead later concluded the flow exceeded 50,000 barrels per day.

Kurt Mix, the engineer, faces up to 20 years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines on two counts of felony obstruction of justice, according the Justice Department. —ARK

The Huffington Post:

More criminal charges related to the spill could also be forthcoming. Investigations by the Coast Guard and an independent commission created by President Obama found that BP shared responsibility for the rig explosion with other contractors on the well, including Transocean, which owned the rig, and Halliburton, which poured the concrete designed to seal the well.

“The Deepwater Horizon Task Force is continuing its investigation into the explosion and will hold accountable those who violated the law in connection with the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history,” said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in a statement Tuesday.

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