New Orleans, La.
A federal judge has accepted a plea agreement that calls for Halliburton Energy Services to pay a $200,000 fine for destroying evidence after BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Halliburton pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor charge stemming from the deletion of data during a post-spill review of the cement job on BP's blown-out Macondo well.
The Houston-based company could have withdrawn its guilty plea if U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo had rejected its deal with the Justice Department.
Halliburton also agreed to make a $55 million contribution to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, but that payment was not a condition of the deal.
The company was BP's cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf in April 2010, killing 11 workers.
Officials also say a former Halliburton employee has been charged with destroying that evidence.
Anthony Badalamenti, who had been the cementing technology director for Halliburton Energy Services Inc., was charged in federal court Thursday with instructing two other employees to delete data during a post-spill review of the cement job on BP's blown-out well.
The 61-year-old Badalamenti of Katy, Texas, is charged in a bill of information, which typically signals that a defendant is cooperating with prosecutors.