A BP engineer involved in damage assessment in the aftermath of 2010’s Deepwater Horizon disaster was cleared on Friday of obstructing justice.
Kurt Mix was accused of deleting hundreds of text and voice messages that could have shown the British oil giant knowingly downplayed the quantity of oil that was pumping into US Gulf of Mexico because of the disaster.
The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in the Gulf Mexico on 22 April 2010 with catastrophic results – 11 people dead and an uncapped well that disgorged oil into the Gulf waters for around three months before it was staunched. It stands as the worst offshore oil disaster in US history.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) dropped obstruction charges against Mix in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and Mix pleaded guilty to a misdemeanour charge of intentionally damaging a protected computer without authorization.
He was sentenced to six months of probation.