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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Corporate Liability: Halliburton Pleads to Destroying Evidence in Gulf Pil Spill 2010

The US Department of Justice has announced that Halliburton Corporate Services has pleaded guilty to destroying evidence arising out of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill that occurred in the US Gulf of Mexico.

"Halliburton Energy Services Inc. has agreed to plead guilty to destroying evidence in connection with the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the Department of Justice announced today. A criminal information charging Halliburton with one count of destruction of evidence was filed today in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana.

"Halliburton has signed a cooperation and guilty plea agreement with the government in which Halliburton has agreed to plead guilty and admit its criminal conduct. As part of the plea agreement, Halliburton has further agreed, subject to the court’s approval, to pay the maximum-available statutory fine, to be subject to three years of probation and to continue its cooperation in the government’s ongoing criminal investigation. Separately, Halliburton made a voluntary contribution of $55 million to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation that was not conditioned on the court’s acceptance of its plea agreement.

"According to court documents, on April 20, 2010, while stationed at the Macondo well site in the Gulf of Mexico, the Deepwater Horizon rig experienced an uncontrolled blowout and related explosions and fire, which resulted in the deaths of 11 rig workers and the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Following the blowout, Halliburton conducted its own review of various technical aspects of the well’s design and construction. On or about May 3, 2010, Halliburton established an internal working group to examine the Macondo well blowout, including whether the number of centralizers used on the final production casing could have contributed to the blowout. A production casing is a long, heavy metal pipe set across the area of the oil and natural gas reservoir. Centralizers are protruding metal collars affixed at various intervals on the outside of the casing. Use of centralizers can help keep the casing centered in the wellbore away from the surrounding walls as it is lowered and placed in the well. Centralization can be significant to the quality of subsequent cementing around the bottom of the casing. Prior to the blowout, Halliburton had recommended to BP the use of 21 centralizers in the Macondo well. BP opted to use six centralizers instead.

Read more about the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and workers' compensation.
Mar 02, 2012
The Associated Press: BP, plaintiffs reach Gulf oil spill settlement: "BP PLC and a committee representing plaintiffs suing over the 2010 Gulf oil spill have reached an agreement, a federal judge said late Friday night. Specific ...
Jun 22, 2010
Oil Spill Workers Hazards May Cause Health Hazards The National Institute of Medicine held a hearing yesterday, continuing today, in New Orleans. Heat, exposure to chemicals and changes caused by the disaster, yield a ...
Jul 17, 2010
"We know that workers may be potentially exposed to things in an oil spill cleanup: such as oils, volatile organic compounds, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, diesel fumes, heat, noise, and heavy lifting. "We know that training will ...
Jun 04, 2010
"Marine oil spill responders face a variety of health and safety hazards, including fire and explosion, oxygen deficiency, exposure to carcinogens and other chemical hazards, heat and cold stress, and safety hazards ...
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