Halliburton sued for Gulf of Mexico spill

Aug. 6, 2010 at 11:49 AM
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WATERSOUND, Fla., Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Oil field contractor Halliburton is negligent for its work in the Gulf of Mexico that led to a catastrophic oil spill, a Florida real estate company said.

A lawsuit filed in Delaware by Florida real estate developer St. Joe Co. blames Halliburton for improper cementing procedures at a well that broke in the Gulf of Mexico, leading to the largest accidental marine oil spill in world history.

Halliburton was the sole cementing contractor for the Macando well attached to the Deepwater Horizon oil platform that caught fire and sank in April.

William Brewer, the lead counsel for St. Joe Co., said in a statement announcing the lawsuit that Halliburton bears full responsibility for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

"We believe Halliburton's participation in the cementing process, and the company's willful disregard of important safety measures, make it liable for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the catastrophic damages that it caused," his statement read.

The lawsuit accuses Halliburton of failing "at every stage" of the cementing process. This, St. Joe claims, caused the blowout that led to the April explosion.

The company said it suffered a "substantial decline" in its real estate value since the April accident. At least 70 percent of its 577,000 acres in Florida are within 15 miles of the Gulf of Mexico coast.

Halliburton Chief Executive Officer Tim Probert stammered on specifics of the cementing process during congressional hearings in May but eventually expressed confidence that his workers were following the orders of BP.

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