During a trial over the cause of the BP oil spill that claimed the lives of eleven people and spilled 4.9 million barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, the government and BP said faulty cement work by Halliburton Co. contributed to the disaster.
BP also said Halliburton destroyed computer evidence of the faulty cement work. It turns out those allegations were correct.
In May or June 2010, Halliburton’s cementing technology director ordered the deletion of computer-generated 3D models related to the oil well. This destruction of evidence took place after a company directive to preserve material related to the oil well.
On September 19, Halliburton pleaded guilty in United States federal court to criminal charges that it destroyed evidence. In July, Halliburton pleaded guilty to destroying evidence, the U.S. Department of Justice said. Thursday’s guilty plea was finalization of the July plea.
The Judge accepted the guilt plea last week and imposed the statutory maximum fine of $200,000, and placed Halliburton on three years of probation. Halliburton also made a separate, voluntary $55 million payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Justice Department said.
In its plea, Halliburton admitted to “intentionally causing damage without authorization to a protected computer.” This is the third guilty plea by one of the companies involved in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.