Halliburton Destroyed Evidence In BP Spill; Pays $200,000 Fine

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The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is expected to accept a guilty plea from Halliburton Company to a charge of destroying evidence in the aftermath of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Halliburton will also serve three years of probation, and, despite admitting to destroying evidence, has pledged to cooperate with all remaining criminal investigations into the circumstances surrounding the explosion. The settlement agreement is pending court approval.

As part of its oil field support role, Halliburton helped British Petroleum (BP), which owned a majority stake in the Macondo oil well, in sealing taps through a technique called “cementing.”

DOJ alleged that Halliburton had advised BP to use 21 metal collars to help ensure the effectiveness of the cementing process at the Macondo well, but that BP elected to use only six. DOJ accused Halliburton of destroying evidence held in computer simulations that demonstrated using a smaller number of collars didn’t pose a disproportionate safety risk.

According to the government, Halliburton recommended to BP that the Macondo well contain 21 centralizers, metal collars that can improve cementing, but BP chose to use six.

The government said that, during an internal probe into the cementing after the blowout, Halliburton ordered workers to destroy computer simulations that showed little difference between using six and 21 centralizers. Efforts to forensically locate the simulations were unsuccessful, the government said.

BP agreed to pay $4.5 billion late last year as part of a settlement in which it pleaded guilty to 11 felony charges related to the deaths of the 11 workers who lost their lives in the disaster. Transocean Deepwater Inc., which owned another large stake in the well, agreed to pay $1.4 billion in fines.

Both companies are also involved in ongoing civil litigation, with findings that have so far exacted hundreds of millions of dollars out of billions of dollars in funds each company set aside in anticipation of a deluge of civil claims.

Halliburton, which is also named in the civil litigation, voluntarily agreed to give $55 million to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation as part of Thursday’s criminal settlement.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • Charlie

    No big deal ,,, there goes your gas and oil prices up again,,, Halliburton Oil Well Cementing has been around for more than 50 years,,, they could have shut that blow out down within days,,, BUT,.. it would have cost at least a million plus for Tooling , Material and Manpower……………………

    • billybob

      Sounds like a poor decision after the fact!

      • Charlie

        From your view point ,,, but,,, guess who owns America ? Guess who controls ALL American Oilfields ? ,,,BUT,,, even the most Powerful Man on Earth needs some body to make his coffee and serve it, they need some body to fly their airplanes , helicopters , etc … Some of us with “Time” tools and technology built the Alaska Oil Pipeline… That’s where the “little guy” get’s a chance to “Take” his slice of the pie… The Big boys CANNOT function without us mid size boys and little boys… IF? you knew how much corruption went on to produce a car or truck and the gas and oil to go down the road ,,, most likely you would be in “Roadrage” about every time you talked to a lying car sales Men …

    • Robbie

      Good reasons to keep in place tax concessions to big oil!

  • Robbie

    Gee, big oil at it again. But then they are somewhat spoiled what with all the Bush subsidies and tax concessions. The rich get richer and the poor and middle class struggle just to stay in the same place. Still the ultra rich need those tax cuts so they’ll create jobs right? Unfortunately the jobs they are creating are in CHINA! Sadly even President Obama was unable to rid America of those mega rich tax cuts. The GOP felt they had to stand in the way.

    • Quester55

      Your Mis-informed HALLIBURTON is OWNED & OPERATED By The L.B.J. Family & Those TRAITORS are ALL DEMOCRATS !
      Only a Communist would try & blame the GOP to Hide the Truth.

      • Robbie

        Who cares if there are Dems or GOP folks who own the Big Oil. The fact is that Bush cut taxes to the mega rich with the claim that that would create jobs. After like 12 or more years now of those tax cuts hows it working for you? Not too well I understand. Also, mega tax concessions to oil companies that are posting record sales and profits whilst cutting food stamps to poor slobs and working stiffs is a shame pure and simple.

  • billybob

    Just bigger crooks getting away with crimes. The DOJ must have gotten a very tidy sum of off shore money for this?

  • Quester55

    Big Deal, HALLIBURTON Has been getting away with Murder for well over 40 years & have still never answered for their Crimes & never will.
    Don’t You remember ” L.B.J. ” & His Secret roll in the Kennedy Assassination, The Blood on His Hands alone Could have changed the WAR in NAM to a Victory instead a defeat! & LADY-BIRD was no Saint as well, & She Owned HALLIBURTON! Many of you Old Timers from Brown & Root know what I’m Saying.
    Yet, That’s the Long Past, Best to be Forgotten.
    These NEW Crimes, Like those others, will be Shelved, When the Money is passed under the Table, The Same as Always.

  • Wellarmed

    If I read the Citizens United decision correctly, then I see no reason not to “execute” Halliburton, British Petroleum, and Trans Ocean. They cannot have it both ways. They are either “people” subject to the rule of law (even though they are corporations) or they are not. There can be no in between. They committed homicide and should have their charter revoked. Their Boards of Directors should also face charges of first degree murder if they knew in any way shape or form that their actions and decisions led to the deaths of these 11 men on that platform.

    This is no different a scenario than Massey Energy, where 29 Coal Miners died in a massive explosion due to the tampering of safety equipment that would have cost no more than 10K to repair. It was never about “safety” and always about productivity. In that case a foreman pleaded guilty, but just like the President of the US, I am certain that their actions are heavily insulated from their foot soldiers.

    • TheTruthHurtsAsWell

      Gooooooood luck. Remember the Glden Rule. Whoever owns the gold makes the rules

  • Progressive Republican

    Just another shakedown by Oblammy of a poor, misunderstood corporation, tight?