Expert: BP Engaged in "Pattern of Misreporting"

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A well design expert testifying for the federal government today accused BP (NYSE: BP  ) of withholding critical information from industry regulators before a blowout triggered a deadly explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in 2010.

Alan Huffman is a geophysicist who has worked for Conoco (NYSE: COP  ) and Exxon (NYSE: XOM  ) . He testified Wednesday that BP continued drilling in dangerous deepwater conditions despite clear warnings of trouble and without informing the Minerals Management Service about its plans.

Huffman said his review of internal BP documents and MMS records showed that the London-based oil giant engaged in a "consistent pattern of misreporting" and gave the regulators a "very false impression" of what was happening on the drilling project.

Huffman is the second expert witness at a trial that started Monday and, barring a settlement, could last several months.

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