One would think that with the recent BP Oil Spill settlement, all is right with the world and we can happily move on to the next environmental disaster. But after all is said and done, the question remains: What happened and who is to blame? Answering questions of liability become much more difficult when evidence is destroyed. That’s just what federal officials Senior BP Drilling Engineer Kurt Mix did when he got rid of hundreds of text messages he sent to a supervisor describing oil gushing from the Deepwater Horizon well. As BP worked to find out how much oil was leaking from the well, Mix provided and had access to flow estimates, which now are gone.
During this time, while BP was telling the public that the well was losing 1,000 to 5,000 barrels of oil a day, the government has concluded that the real figure was more than 50,000 barrels a day. The missing evidence could prove that BP intentionally misled the government, leading to possible criminal charges. It may prove that the least of BP’s problems will be writing that check for the $7.8 billion civil settlement.