Halliburton Guilty Plea Over Oil Files Accepted by Judge

A federal judge accepted a Halliburton Co. (HAL) unit’s guilty plea to destroying tests conducted on cement work connected to the BP Plc-owned well that exploded in 2010, setting off the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Officials of Halliburton Energy Services Inc., which worked on BP’s Macondo well, announced in July the company would plead guilty on the unit’s behalf to one count of destroying evidence for failing to preserve computer models examining the final cement job on the well after the April 2010 explosion that killed 11 workers and sent millions of barrels of oil pouring into the gulf.

The Halliburton unit agreed to plead guilty to one misdemeanor violation over the deletion of records created after the Macondo well incident, pay the statutory maximum fine of $200,000 and accept a term of three years’ probation. U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo accepted the plea at a hearing in New Orleans federal court today.

“I believe the plea agreement is reasonable,” Milazzo said. The penalty “adequately reflects the seriousness” of the violation, she said.

The case is U.S. v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., 13-cr-00165, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans).

To contact the reporters on this story: Allen Johnson Jr. in federal court in New Orleans; Margaret Cronin Fisk in Detroit at mcfisk@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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