Former Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) employee Anthony Badalamenti has been charged with destroying evidence related to the 2010 explosion of BP plc (NYSE:BP) (LON:BP)’s Deepwater Horizon well and subsequent oil spill, and it appears that he is cooperating with prosecutors, the AP reports.
Halliburton former employee deleted results
Badalamenti, who was the former cementing technology officer at Halliburton Energy Services, instructed two employees to delete results from a computer simulations testing the difference between using six or 21 centralizers casings centered in the wellbore, and supposedly showed little difference between the two scenarios (though it is odd to delete evidence that wouldn’t necessarily show any wrongdoing). BP plc (NYSE:BP) (LON:BP) used six centralizers on the Deepwater Horizon, which obviously weren’t enough, and the simulation results may have influenced that decision.
Prosecutors say that Badalamenti was acting on his own, without authorization from his superiors at Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL).
Halliburton not charged for oil spill
Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL), which was responsible for the cement job on the Deepwater Horizon rig, has not been charged with any crime related to the spill, but it did agree to pay the statutory maximum fine of $200,000 for conduct related to these charges. It will also donate $55 million to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, even though it wasn’t mandated in the settlement agreement.
The Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig, part of the Macondo Prospect, exploded on April 20, 2010 and then sank two days later. The well poured oil into the Gulf of Mexico until it was finally sealed off on August 4, 2010. The Macondo Prospect was ironically named after a cursed town in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude.
BP and Transocean to pay fines
BP plc (NYSE:BP) (LON:BP), which pled guilty to charges of manslaughter for the 11 workers who died in the blast, has agreed to pay $4 billion in fines and offshore drilling company Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG) has agreed to pay $400 million in fines. BP has recently argued that the US Coast Guard’s cleanup effort should end, even though oil patches still show up.
"I don't think BP plc (NYSE:BP) (LON:BP) should be relieved of saying clean-up is over anywhere until there's a lengthy period of time where there is no oil and we haven't seen that yet," said Plaquemines Parish president Billy Nungesser.