Beginning Next Week: InsideCounsel will become part of Corporate Counsel. Bringing these two industry-leading websites together will now give you comprehensive coverage of the full spectrum of issues affecting today's General Counsel at companies of all sizes. You will continue to receive expert analysis on key issues including corporate litigation, labor developments, tech initiatives and intellectual property, as well as Women, Influence & Power in Law (WIPL) professional development content. Plus we'll be serving all ALM legal publications from one interconnected platform, powered by, giving you easy access to additional relevant content from other InsideCounsel sister publications.

To prevent a disruption in service, you will be automatically redirected to the new site next week. Thank you for being a valued InsideCounsel reader!


Halliburton to plead guilty to destroying oil spill evidence

A company subsidiary destroyed computer simulations run in the wake of the 2010 Gulf oil spill

A unit of Halliburton Co. has admitted to destroying evidence connected to the exploded oil well responsible for the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

The Department of Justice said Thursday that Halliburton Energy Services Inc. conducted—and subsequently destroyed the results of—two computer simulations of the Macondo well cement job. The company wanted to determine whether the number of cement stabilizers used in the well was responsible for the explosion that sent almost 5 billion barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Halliburton recommended that 21 of those “centralizers” be used in the well, but BP used just six. The company hoped to show that BP was at fault for using fewer stabilizers than necessary, and destroyed the computer simulations when they showed that the extra stabilizers would not have made a difference.

In addition to pleading guilty, Halliburton also agreed to pay a $200,000 fine, accept a three-year probation term and cooperate in the ongoing criminal investigation into the spill, Bloomberg reports. The company also made a $55 million “voluntary contribution” to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

In light of the guilty plea, the DOJ will not pursue any further criminal charges against Halliburton or its subsidiaries.

For more InsideCounsel coverage of the Gulf oil spill, see:

Texas sues BP over Gulf oil spill

BP faces more than 2,200 new spill lawsuits

Florida sues BP for oil spill damages

First phase of BP spill trial ends

BP settlement costs rise again

BP enters plea in Gulf oil spill criminal case

BP will pay $4.5 billion in Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement

BP, plaintiffs ask judge to approve $7.8 billion oil spill settlement

Feds to pursue gross negligence claims in BP oil spill case

Alanna Byrne

Bio and more articles

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.