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Halliburton guilty of destroying oil spill evidence

Halliburton has agreed to pay the maximum fine, of $200,000, to be on probation for three years and continue to cooperate with the government's criminal investigation.

The plea agreement is subject to court approval, the company said.

Halliburton was BP's cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Credit: Reuters

Halliburton was BP's cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The blowout triggered an explosion that killed 11 workers and spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf.

In December 2011, BP asked a judge to sanction Halliburton for its handling of cement testing and Displace 3D modeling results. Halliburton claimed that its modeling results were "gone" and could not be found.

Company fined over Deepwater Horizon

Halliburton Energy Services has agreed to plead guilty to destroying evidence in connection with the 2010 Gulf Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to the Department of Justice.

Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon. Credit: Reuters

Federal officials said in a news release that a criminal information charging Halliburton with one count of destruction of evidence was filed in federal court in Louisiana.

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First charges brought in Deepwater Horizon aftermath

Deepwater Horizon on fire in 2010 Credit: Reuters

Investigators have been looking into the causes of the blowout and the actions of managers, engineers and rig workers at BP and its sub-contractors Halliburton and Transocean in the days and hours before the April 20 2010 explosion.

The case against the former BO engineer Kurt Mix - who now faces charges - focuses only on the aftermath of the blast, when BP scrambled for weeks to plug the leak.

Even then, the charges are not really about the disaster itself, but about an alleged attempt to thwart the investigation into it.

Deepwater Horizon engineer faces charges

The lawyer for Kurt Mix, the first person to be charged in relation to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, says the charges are misguided and said she is confident her client would be exonerated.

The government says he intentionally deleted text messages from his phone, but the content of those messages still resides in thousands of emails, text messages and other documents that he saved. Indeed,the emails that Kurt preserved include the very ones highlighted by the government."

– Kurt Mix's lawyer, Joan McPhee

Charges in Deepwater Horizon oil spill investigation

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, killing 11 men and spewing 200 million gallons of oil. Credit: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

US prosecutors have brought the first criminal charges over the Gulf oil spill, accusing a former BP engineer of deleting more than 300 text messages that indicated the blown-out well was spewing far more crude than the company was telling the public at the time.

Two years and four days after the Deepwater Horizon drilling-rig explosion which killed 11 workers and set off the worst offshore oil spill in US history, Kurt Mix, 50, of Katy, Texas, was arrested and charged with two counts of obstruction of justice for allegedly destroying evidence.

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