The company of US, Halliburton, would plead guilty for destroying evidence that related to 2010 oil spill of Gulf Of Mexico.
This plea agreement, subject to the approval of court, means that Halliburton would have to give maximum fine possible.
Spill occurred over Macondo well of BP in Gulf of Mexico. It was worst in the history of US.
BP accused Halliburton, its contractor, which is Houston-based, of destroying the evidence and also asked it that it should pay for the damages fully.
The most significant oil spill 3years back followed one blast at the oil rig, Deepwater Horizon, which killed eleven workers.
In one statement, the company said, “A Halliburton subsidiary has agreed to plead guilty to one misdemeanour violation associated with the deletion of records created after the Macondo well incident, to pay the statutory maximum fine of $200,000 and to accept a term of three years probation.”
Halliburton happens to be 3rd of the three companies considered major and at heart of oil spill for admitting criminal wrongdoing. BP, the oil giant as well as Transocean, the rig operator, have pleaded guilty already to the charges that were related to disaster.
US Justice Department said that before the blowout at rig, BP recommended Halliburton that Macondo well contained 21 centralisers – the metal collars which could improve cementing.
But, BP chose that it would use only 6.
According to justice department, Halliburton ran 2 computer simulations that were of final job of cementing Macondo well for comparing impact of making use of 6 versus twenty-one centralisers.
According to it, results of those simulations showed that there wasn’t much difference.
The justice department said programme manager of Halliburton was instructed to, and also did, destroy those results.
It also added that efforts to recover originally destroyed the computer simulations Displace 3D forensically during the ensuing litigation at civil level and the criminal investigation at federal level by Deepwater Horizon Task Force proved unsuccessful. For agreeing to pleading guilty, it said, Halliburton accepted the criminal responsibility of destroying the evidence mentioned before.
Halliburton, as well as other firms, tends to be facing civil trial regarding oil spill as well.
It’s expected that it would be the most costly and the biggest trials in many decades and would determine causes of spill, and also assign the responsibility to parties which were involved, that included Halliburton, BP, Cameron and Transocean, which manufactured blowout preventer that’s meant to put a stop to the oil leaks.
Halliburton said in April that the firm was in the talks for settling claims in that trial.
However, there were some observers thought that guilty plea that were by Halliburton might indicate weakness in firm’s position while negotiating any settlement.
Edward Sherman, Tulane University’s law professor, said, “Their willingness to plead to this may also indicate that they’d like to settle up with the federal government on the civil penalties. It might indicate a softening of their position.”
Already, Halliburton has made voluntary contribution which is of $55m to National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
As for its own part, BP kept aside $7.8bn at the time it agreed the previous year that it would pay compensation meant for oil spill.