Halliburton pleads guilty to destroying evidence in Gulf spill
Halliburton pleaded guilty Thursday to destroying evidence relating to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the Justice Department said.
Halliburton was sentenced to the maximum fine allowed, the department said in a statement.
The court statement did not disclose the amount, but Halliburton put it at $200,000 and three years’ probation.
The Justice Department also announced it had filed a criminal charge against a former Halliburton manager, Anthony Badalementi, accusing him of one count of destruction of evidence.
“These announcements mark the latest steps forward in the Justice Department’s efforts to achieve justice on behalf of all those affected by the Deepwater Horizon explosion, oil spill, and environmental disaster,” said US Attorney General Eric Holder in a statement.
Halliburton constructed the cement casing of the offshore deepwater Macondo well that exploded on April 20, 2010, killing 11 people.
The blast sank the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig, sending millions of barrels of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, the largest offshore oil leak in US history.
It took 87 days to cap the runaway well in a spill that blackened beaches in five states and crippled the region’s tourism and fishing industries.
Badalamenti, then Halliburton’s cementing technology director, ordered two internal computer simulations of the cementing job after the accident. The simulations were later destroyed.
Halliburton said the federal judge’s acceptance of its single misdemeanor guilty plea closed the investigation.