Halliburton pleading guilty to destroying evidence during BP spill

It could have shone a spotlight on Halliburton's role in the spill

Published July 26, 2013 12:59PM (EDT)

 The spill viewed from space             (Wikimedia)
The spill viewed from space (Wikimedia)

America's corporate sweetheart Halliburton is going to plead guilty to one count of destroying evidence during the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Justice Department said. The oil services company, which has annual revenue of more than $28 billion, will pay a fine of up to $200,000.

The Washington Post explains:

Halliburton said that on two occasions during the oil spill, it directed employees to destroy or “get rid of” simulations that would have helped clarify how to assign blame for the blowout — and possibly focused more attention on Halliburton’s role.

The explosion at BP’s Macondo oil well on April 20, 2010, killed 11 people, destroyed the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and ultimately leaked nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Halliburton, which has repeatedly denied responsibility and pointed fingers at BP, will be placed on probation for three years. It also agreed to pay $55 million to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation even if the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana does not accept its plea agreement.

According to the Justice Department, efforts to subsequently obtain the simulations were unsuccessful.

By Alex Halperin

Alex Halperin is news editor at Salon. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhalperin.

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Bp Gulf Of Mexico Halliburton Legal Issues Macondo Oil Oil Spill