By TESS STYNES
Halliburton's former director of cementing technology is facing a criminal
charge related to the destruction of evidence tied to the 2010
Deepwater Horizon explosion.
Also, the oil-field services company pleaded guilty Thursday
and agreed to pay the biggest fine under the law -- which is
$200,000 -- in a settlement with the Justice Department to
resolve similar charges, closing the US government's probe into
Halliburton's role in the disaster.
The company also will be placed on probation for three
years. Halliburton had indicated in July that it would plead
The Deepwater Horizon disaster claimed 11 lives and
triggered the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
Halliburton, a contractor involved in drilling the oil well
that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, destroyed computer
simulations it performed in the months after the accident.
Those simulations didn't bear out Halliburton's contention that
BP, which owned the well, erred by not following its advice on
using certain equipment, the Justice Department had said.
Former Halliburton manager Anthony Badalamenti, who is 61
years old and from Katy, Texas, faces one count of destruction
of evidence. He wasn't immediately available for comment.
The charge alleges Mr. Badalamenti instructed a senior
program manager to run two computer simulations of the Macondo
well's final cementing job following the disaster in an effort
to determine whether the number of centralizers used in the
final casing could have contributed to the blowout, the Justice
Department said Thursday. Mr. Badalamenti apparently instructed
the senior program manager to destroy the results, which he
did, the department said.
Similar evidence also was destroyed following a later
incident and efforts by investigators to recover the evidence
were unsuccessful, the Justice Department said.
Dow Jones Newswires