The Norman Transcript

March 15, 2013

BP contractor finds cement samples

By Michael Kunzelman
The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — BP’s cement contractor on the Deepwater Horizon rig has discovered cement samples possibly tied to the ill-fated drilling project that weren’t turned over to the Justice Department after the 2010 oil spill, a lawyer for the contractor said Thursday.

Halliburton lawyer Donald Godwin told U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier that the company believes the material found Wednesday at its laboratory in Lafayette has no bearing on the ongoing trial to assign responsibility for the nation’s worst offshore oil spill.

But a plaintiffs’ attorney, Jeffrey Breit, countered that the samples are cement a Halliburton employee used for testing of BP PLC’s Macondo well before the disaster.

The blowout and explosion on April 20, 2010, killed 11 workers and led to the enormous spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The failure of the cement job to seal the well was part of a complex web of mistakes that led to the April 20, 2010, blowout, according to a series of government probes.

In an email to the court late Wednesday, Godwin said Halliburton is investigating whether the cement samples should have been turned over in response to subpoenas.

Godwin’s email said the newly discovered samples appear to be associated with the Kodiak well, which the London-based energy giant BP and its contractor Transocean were drilling in the Gulf.

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