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Halliburton denies role in 2010 oil spill

March 12, 2013 at 6:43 AM

NEW ORLEANS, March 12 (UPI) -- Oil services contractor Halliburton was aware of issues with cement used at a Gulf of Mexico well but denies it had a role in a 2010 spill, an official said.

U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier is overseeing a civil trial to determine liability for the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In 2010, he ordered Halliburton to hand over samples of the cement mixture used to seal the Macondo well below the Deepwater Horizon rig.

British energy company BP leased the rig from Transocean. Halliburton was contracted for cementing operations at the well.

Timothy Probert, who was in charge of safety at Halliburton, testified that there were "irregularities" with the cement used at Macondo, though he didn't go into specifics, reports The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune.

BP last year claimed Halliburton destroyed test results regarding cement used to seal the well beneath the rig. Halliburton said the charges are baseless. A report from U.S. regulators determined that the blowout that led to an explosion that sunk the rig was in part because of a faulty cement barrier.

Probert said the issue over test results was "obviously" troubling but denied Halliburton was responsible for events that led to the 2010 spill.

Halliburton had "zero responsibility with respect to the accident," he was quoted as saying.

Eleven rig workers died in an explosion that sank the Deepwater Horizon in 2010. That event led to the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

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