WASHINGTON, April 25 (UPI) -- British energy company BP said it was working with the U.S. government on the investigation into the 2010 oil spill and wouldn't comment on any charges.
BP, in a statement, said it wouldn't comment on charges filed against former BP engineer Kurt Mix. The FBI accused Mix of deleting electronic records related to the amount of oil was leaking from the Macondo well under the Deepwater Horizon rig after it exploded in April 2010.
"BP had clear policies requiring preservation of evidence in this case and has undertaken substantial and ongoing efforts to preserve evidence," the company said in a statement. "We will not comment on the government's case against former BP employee Kurt Mix and we will continue cooperating in the Department of Justice's investigation."
U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., ranking member of the Natural Resources Committee, said that federal courts would determine whether this was an obstruction of justice case and added "BP had a policy of obfuscation during the spill when it came to the amount of oil flowing out of the Macondo well."
It's estimated that oil spilled at a rate of more than 50,000 barrels per day following the accident, though BP, Markey said, said initially 1,000 bpd was leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.
"It is not surprising that there may be instances where BP employees tried to cover up their tracks, when billions of dollars in fines are at stake that should be paid to the American people," he said.
BP last week announced it reached a $7.8 billion settlement for damages paid to those affected by the spill. The settlement doesn't address claims from the U.S. government that BP violated the Clean Water Act in 2010.