The U.S. Justice Department broke new ground in the case against BP for causing the worst oil spill in the country's history when it brought criminal charges against a BP engineer for obstructing justice by deleting communications regarding the true size of the spill. The engineer, Kurt Mix (51), has been arrested.

On April 20, 2010, BP's Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico suffered a major explosion that killed 11 workers and went on to spew close to 62,000 barrels of oil per day into the Gulf, causing unprecedented damage to the surrounding environment and marine life.