According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, internal emails at BP reveal that the oil giant knew about the severity of the Gulf Coast spill weeks earlier than previously thought. BP has long said that it was prompt in disclosing to authorities and to the public exactly what it knew. The emails, however, suggest otherwise.
BP has claimed that it learned of the full extent of the massive oil spill only well after the explosion at the drilling rig. The emails indicate that the company knew almost right away that the scope of the spill was enormous.
The emails are being brought to light due to an ongoing criminal investigation regarding individual actors who may be responsible for the spill and its aftermath. One person being charged is a former engineer for BP, Kurt Mix, who has been accused of destroying evidence that showed that BP knew of the size of the spill early on.
One good example is a series of emails that happened two days after the explosion on the oilrig. In one email, Mix told a supervisor that the well could potentially be leaking between 62,000 and 146,000 barrels of oil per day. Two days after that, BP executives told the Coast Guard that their best estimates pegged the leak at only 1,000 barrels a day. It has since been revealed that the flow was more like 62,000 barrels per day prior to the well being capped.
Other emails showed that BP received word from oil industry experts saying the estimate might be as high as 40,000 barrels spilled per day. Almost immediately after such emails were sent around, a BP executive appeared on a cable news network to defend the company’s estimate of 5,000 barrels per day, saying that those who claimed the leak was larger were only trying to scare residents of the Gulf Coast.
Critics of BP and its response after the spill have been thrilled with the ongoing criminal investigation. They say that pursuing prosecution over information about oil flow rates is critical to holding the company fully responsible for the harm it did to the Gulf Coast region. Moreover, such charges will help shed light on the corporate culture at BP and hopefully encourage the company to be more open in the event of future disasters.
If you’ve been impacted by the BP oil spill, don’t hesitate to contact the Mississippi oil spill attorneys at Kilpatrick & Philley at (601) 856-7800. Currently, we are accepting VOO claims, claims for Commercial Fisherman, claims for Recreational Fisherman, claims for Personal Lost Income and Business Lost Income, and claims for Owners of Waterfront Property. Call us today to ensure that you are not left behind and we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve!
Source: “BP Oil Spill Flow Rate Vastly Understated For Weeks, Emails Show,” by John Rudolf, published at HuffingtonPost.com.
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