HOUSTON (CN) – Halliburton claims BP defamed it in a misleading report on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that called Halliburton’s cement work on the Macondo oil well a “root cause of the blowout.” Halliburton claims the report deliberately omitted BP’s knowledge of an “additional hydrocarbon zone in the well,” which required changes in the cement work, and that BP kept quiet to avoid a costly redesign, which resulted in the blowout and oil spill.
Halliburton Energy Services sued BP in Harris County Court.
The April 20, 2010 blowout of the Macondo well beneath BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 people, injured dozens more and caused the biggest oil spill in U.S. history.
It also “resulted in arguably the largest civil litigation in United States’ history,” Halliburton says.
“Since the blowout, and in a transparent attempt to minimize its liability, BP, the operator and leaseholder for the Macondo well, has intentionally and continually misrepresented its role in the Macondo tragedy by concealing its own conduct that caused the incident and the actions BP failed to take to prevent it,” Halliburton says in its complaint.
It specifically objects to BP’s “self-serving report” called the “Bly Report,” which lends support to allegations against Halliburton in hundreds of lawsuits, Halliburton says.
“The Bly report, however, intentionally and deliberately omits the critical fact that BP knew or should have known about an additional hydrocarbon zone in the well that BP failed to disclose prior to HESI’s designing the cement program for the Macondo Well and that BP, unsurprisingly, failed to disclose after the Blowout,” Halliburton says. (HESI is plaintiff Halliburton Energy Services Inc.)
Halliburton says its cement was “intended to isolate the well from the influx and of gas and oil” and that BP was responsible for telling it where the top of the cement should be placed, based on “the location of the highest hydrocarbon-bearing zone.”
But it says “BP failed to disclose this information and as a result, has significantly damaged HESI. The motive behind BP’s intentional nondisclosure of this upper hydrocarbon-bearing zone is apparent – profit and greed.
“Had BP disclosed the higher hydrocarbon zone to HESI, HESI would not have pumped the cement program unless and until changes were made to the cement program, changes that likely would have required a redesign of the production casing.
“Such changes would have cost BP millions of dollars on a well that was already painfully over budget and behind schedule. Regrettably, and consistent with its mantra that ‘every dollar counts,’ BP chose not to stop work and redesign the well before going forward with its temporary abandonment procedures, in favor of saving time and money at the expense of safety, resulting in the death of 11 men, countless other injuries and an unprecedented oil spill,” Halliburton says.
The complaint continues: “As it did before the incident, BP has made every effort to conceal this fact from HESI and the public following the blowout. In addition to intentionally omitting this information from the Bly Report, BP also purposely withheld the value and impact of this information from the various investigative agencies, including the Coast Guard, the Department of Justice, the United States Congress and the Presidential Commission on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling (‘National Commission’), that interviewed and solicited testimony from BP as part of their investigations into what caused the blowout. In fact, HESI only recently learned of BP’s cover up scheme during discovery in the blowout litigation. … BP’s malicious and intentional failure to disclose this critically important information after the incident in hopes of covering up its own culpability, and its actual publication of false statements with regard to it, is tortious, has damaged HESI, and warrants the imposition of exemplary, punitive damages.”
Halliburton alleges grossly negligent misrepresentation, defamation and business disparagement. It is represented by Donald Godwin with Godwin Ronquillo, of Dallas.