Halliburton (HAL), announced Thursday, that it will pay a $200,000 fine for the destruction of evidence after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010.
The Justice Department filed one criminal charge against the company. Halliburton released a statement saying that the charge was a misdemeanor, and that, “The Department of Justice has agreed that it will not pursue further criminal prosecution of the company,” reports The New York Times.
The company had recommended that BP use 21 metal centralizing collars to stabilize the cementing. BP Chose to instead use six collars. Halliburton destroyed simulations that showed there was little difference between using 21 and six collars. After the incident the company claimed that BP was being neglectful by not following its advice, reports NYT.
Employees working for Halliburton stepped forward and acknowledged the problems with the cement wells. Thomas Roth, a senior company executive who was in charge of cementing operations when the spill occurred, said, “the cement placement was going to be a job that would have a low probability of success.” Timothy Quirk, a Halliburton laboratory manager, said that he had tested cement samples from a similar blend that was used to make the well, and was told not prepare a laboratory work sheet, reports NYT.
Businessweek senior writer Paul Barrett, claims that the guilty plea from Halliburton could save BP billions of dollars.