NEW ORLEANS - A former BP engineer was arrested on charges of intentionally destroying evidence requested by US authorities about the size of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The United States said Kurt Mix, who worked on internal BP efforts to estimate the amount of oil leaking from the well, deleted text messages between him and a supervisor. Mix, 50, was charged with two counts of obstruction of justice in a criminal complaint filed in federal court in New Orleans and unsealed Tuesday.
“Mix deleted numerous electronic records relating to the Deepwater Horizon disaster response, including records concerning the amount of oil potentially flowing from the well, after being repeatedly informed of his obligation to maintain such records,’’ FBI Special Agent Barbara O’Donnell said in a sworn statement.
The blowout and explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig killed 11 workers and caused the worst offshore oil spill in US history. The Justice Department has been investigating the incident and the spill rate estimates, O’Donnell said in the affidavit.
“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 US history,’’ US Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday.
Mix did not immediately return a call or e-mail seeking comment on the charges.
David Nicholas, a London-based spokesman at BP, declined to comment.