Gulf of Mexico oil spill: Halliburton pleads guilty to destroying evidence

The energy services firm agrees to pay fine and $55m donation to wildlife charity

The US cement contractor working for BP on the drill that caused the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill has agreed to plead guilty to destroying evidence relating to the investigation of the disaster.

The Department of Justice said yesterday that Texas-based Halliburton Energy Services agreed to pay the maximum statutory fine, believed to be $200,000, to be on probation for three years and that it would continue to cooperate with the government's criminal investigation.

The company also made a voluntary contribution of $55 million to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, which was not a condition of the court agreement.

Halliburton issued a statement saying it had accepted guilt for “one misdemeanour violation associated with the deletion of records” and that the Justice Department had agreed it will not pursue further criminal prosecution of the company or its subsidiaries.

Halliburton said it had conducted its own review of the well's design and construction after the blowout, which killed 11 workers in April 2010 and spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf.

BP and Halliburton have blamed each other for the failure of the cement job to seal the Macondo well. And while the Houston-based contractor recommended the drilling rig use 21 “centralizers” – metal collars that help keep the drill centred in its casing – the British oil company decided to use six.

According to yesterday’s press release, Halliburton’s review used computer modelling to assess whether this decision might have led to the disaster, but the results showed that it made no discernible difference.

The company then ordered the programme manager to destroy evidence of the review, which he did, according to federal officials.

The revelations of a cover-up come as a result of the ongoing criminal investigation as to who is to blame for the massive oil spill, the worst in history off the coast of America.

Halliburton announced in April that it was trying to negotiate a settlement to resolve a substantial portion of private claims it has faced since the Deepwater Horizon rig blast.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there