Halliburton officials admitted that evidence was destroyed in the oil spill disaster at Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico. The company will enter a guilty plea to criminal charges, said the Department of Justice on Thursday.
In the plea agreement, which still needs the court’s approval, Halliburton, based in Houston, Texas, would also be facing three years of probation, pay a $200,000 maximum fine and continue cooperating with the Justice Department’s investigation of the fire and subsequent explosion on the drilling platform April 2010.
The incident killed 11 workers on the rig off the Louisiana coast.
Apart from that, Halliburton also made a voluntary contribution of $55 million to the Nation’s National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Thursday night, in a prepared statement, officials at Halliburton noted the DOJ had acknowledged the valuable and significant cooperation of the company during its investigation.
The statement also said the company would continue its cooperation in any investigation that is ongoing related to or that arises from the Deepwater Horizon incident.
The spill that followed the fire and explosion was the largest in the history of the U.S. with crude oil totaling close to five million barrels pouring into the water of the Gulf prior to a gusher being capped over three months later.
Halliburton ran computer simulations during May as well as June of 2010. Both time the 3-D results indicated little difference in the two scenarios between the 21 centralizers it recommended to BP to use to keep the well pipe centered and the 6 that BP chose to use.
Unidentified individuals then directed employees at Halliburton to destroy both simulations, said officials at the DOJ.
The computer simulations were never able to be recovered by the task force that did the investigating.
Since the onset of the incident, BP and Halliburton have blamed one another for the cement job that did not seal the Macondo well.