Halliburton pleads guilty to Macondo evidence charge

Halliburton Energy Services Inc. pleaded guilty to destroying evidence in connection with the 2010 Macondo deepwater well blowout, and was sentenced to pay the maximum $200,000 fine, the US Department of Justice said on Sept. 19.

DOJ also filed a criminal information charging a former Halliburton manager, Anthony Badalamenti, of Katy, Tex., with one count of evidence destruction. An information is merely a charge, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty, it noted.

US District Court Judge Jane Triche Milazzo of Louisiana’s Eastern District accepted Halliburton’s plea and imposed the sentence, which also included 3 years’ probation, according to DOJ.

During the guilty plea and sentencing proceeding, she cited Halliburton’s self-reporting of the misconduct, substantial and valuable cooperation in the government’s investigation, and substantial efforts to recover the deleted data, it said.

In its own announcement, the Houston oil field service and supply company said DOJ has closed its investigation of the matter following this resolution under a previously announced cooperation plea agreement.

“DOJ’s investigating taskforce characterized the company’s cooperation in the case as ‘exceptional’, as well as ‘forthright, extensive, and ongoing since the outset of the investigation,’” it said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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