Halliburton Energy Services Inc. will plead guilty to destroying evidence in connection to the Deepwater Horizon explosion in April 2010 that left 11 dead and resulted in the largest oil spill in U.S. history, the Justice Department said on Thursday.
Justice said in a press release:
"Halliburton has signed a cooperation and guilty plea agreement with the government in which Halliburton has agreed to plead guilty and admit its criminal conduct. As part of the plea agreement, Halliburton has further agreed, subject to the court's approval, to pay the maximum-available statutory fine, to be subject to three years of probation and to continue its cooperation in the government's ongoing criminal investigation. Separately, Halliburton made a voluntary contribution of $55 million to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation that was not conditioned on the court's acceptance of its plea agreement."
According to Justice, the oilfield services giant destroyed the results of some tests it ran following the disaster.
"Company officials threw out test results that showed little difference in the number of devices needed to center the cement casing in the well at the center of the 2010 disaster, according to court papers. Halliburton had recommended well owner BP use 21 centralizers, but BP used only six — and the issue has been key point of contention between the two companies.
"Halliburton is the third of the three major players to admit criminal wrongdoing in the 2010 blowout and resulting oil spill. BP and rig operator Transocean have already pleaded guilty to other charges related to the disaster..."