Guilty plea in oil-spill evidence tampering
Halliburton will plead guilty to destroying evidence related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, according to the US Justice Department.
Halliburton, the world's second-largest oilfield services company has admitted it destroyed computer models of safety procedure recommended to the oil-rig operator BP.
Courts have heard Halliburton recommended to BP that the well be stabilised by 21 centralisers (metal collars to reinforce cementing) - but BP chose to use only six. Halliburton instructed staff to destroy the models showing the difference between using six centralisers and 21 during an internal probe after the explosion in 2010.
Halliburton has been ordered to make the paltry pay-out of $US200,000, the company has also made a voluntary $US55 million payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
The settlement is now pending court approval but will reportedly include three years' probation and an agreement to continue cooperating with the criminal probe into the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.
The large-scale environmental disaster caused 11 deaths and triggered the largest ever US offshore oil spill, following the rupture of the Macondo oil well (65 per cent of which was owned by BP) on April 20 2010.
BP is still embroiled in legal processes after pleading guilty to some aspects of the spill - their pay-outs are reportedly set to be in the billions of dollars.