Halliburton Admits Destroying Gulf Oil Spill Evidence, Gets ProbationS

Halliburton announced today that it will plead guilty to destroying critical evidence in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, in exchange for three years probation and a fine.

Halliburton was responsible for mixing the cement used in the Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded, killing 11 workers and gushing 5 billion gallons of oil into the ocean for nearly three months — the largest oil spill in US history.

The evidence in question concerns whether BP was irresponsible when it used fewer devices than Halliburton recommended to center cement casings in the well. In addition to accepting the probation and paying a $200,000 fine, Halliburton will admit that it threw out test results that showed there was no real difference between the number of devices it recommended and the number BP used.

Halliburton is the third company to plead guilty to a criminal charge in the explosion; BP plead guilty to manslaughter and a $4 billion fine, and Transocean admitted to violating the Clean Water Act and a $1.4 billion fine.

[NYT, image via AP]