- Associated Press - Friday, October 13, 2017

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A Texas man is accused of lying about tests on a blowout preventer on an offshore oil and gas platform in 2012, Acting U.S. Attorney Duane Evans said.

An indictment handed up Thursday charges Kenneth Johns, 45, of Rosharon, Texas, with one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice and two counts of making false statements.

Online court records don’t show an attorney for Johns, described as a supervisor for a contract company, which is not identified. If he’s convicted, maximum penalties would total 15 years in prison and $750,000 in fines.

Regulations requiring operators to use independent companies to certify equipment designed to keep wells from blowing out were enacted after a faulty blowout preventer caused the BP oil spill of 2010. That accident killed eleven men and spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over about three months.

According to the indictment, Johns made a falsified chart at the request of a representative for the well’s owner.

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