An engineer charged with obstructing justice in connection with the 2010 BP well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico has been found guilty of obstructing justice by deleting text messages from his mobile phone.

Kurt Mix, a 52-year-old former BP employee, had faced two counts of obstruction for deleting hundreds of messages he exchanged with his supervisor and a contractor in the weeks after the spill.

He was acquitted of the second charge but faces 20 years in prison and a $250,000 (£152,500) fine

Mix was part of a team that scrambled to find a way to plug the Macondo well and figure out how much oil was leaking into the sea in what became the worst offshore disaster in US history.

He estimated in a text to a supervisor that every day over 630,000 gallons of oil was spilling out of the well – treble BP's public estimate of 210,000 gallons a day. © Guardian News and Media 2013