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Ex-#BP Engineer Convicted of Deleting Texts to Obstruct #GulfOilSpill Probe

from foxnews.co: A former BP drilling engineer was convicted Wednesday of deleting text messages from his cellphone to obstruct a federal investigation of the company's massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He was found guilty on one charge and acquitted of a second charge. A federal jury deliberated for more than nine hours over three days before reaching the verdict on Kurt Mix's case. The count of obstruction of justice carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine...

The April 20, 2010, blowout of BP PLC's Macondo well triggered an explosion that killed 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and spawned the nation's worst offshore oil spill. Millions of gallons of oil spewed into the Gulf while the company scrambled for weeks to seal the well.

Mix was on a team of experts who worked on BP's unsuccessful attempt to stop the gusher using a technique called "top kill." He had access to internal data about how much oil was flowing from the blown-out well.

On May 26, 2010, the day that top kill began, Mix estimated in a text to a supervisor that more than 630,000 gallons of oil per day were spilling — three times BP's public estimate of 210,000 gallons daily and a rate far greater than what top kill could handle.

That text was in a string of messages that Mix exchanged with his supervisor, Jonathan Sprague, before deleting it in October 2010. Investigators couldn't recover 17 of the messages in the string.

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