A federal judge has accepted a Halliburton Co. unit’s guilty plea to destroying tests conducted on cement work connected to the BP PLC-owned well that exploded in 2010, setting off the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Officials of Halliburton Energy Services Inc., which worked on BP’s Macondo well, said in July that the company would plead guilty on the unit’s behalf to destroying evidence for failing to preserve computer models examining the final cement job on the well after the April 2010 explosion that killed 11 workers and sent millions of barrels of oil pouring into the Gulf.
Halliburton agreed to plead guilty to one misdemeanor violation for the deletion of records created after the Macondo incident, pay the statutory maximum fine of $200,000 and accept a term of three years’ probation. U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo accepted the plea at a hearing last month in federal court in New Orleans. Judge Milazzo found the plea agreement to be “reasonable,” and said that the penalty “adequately reflects the seriousness” of the violation. The U.S. Justice Department has agreed not to pursue any further criminal prosecution of the Houston-based company or its subsidiaries for any conduct related to the well blowout and subsequent spill. Halliburton is the third corporate defendant to plead guilty to wrongdoing related to the 2010 spill.
Source: Insurance Journal
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