– Halliburton Manager Gets One Year Probation For Destroying Evidence Of 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster (Business Insider, Jan 22, 2014):
A former Halliburton manager was sentenced to one year of probation on Tuesday for destroying evidence in the aftermath of BP’s fatal 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout, which claimed 11 lives.
Anthony Badalamenti, former cementing technology director for Halliburton, which was BP’s cement contractor on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, had faced a maximum of one year in prison. The 62-year-old pleaded guilty in October to one count of destruction of evidence.
US district judge Jay Zainey sentenced Badalamenti to perform 100 hours of community service and ordered him to pay a $1,000 fine on top of the year’s probation. “I still feel that you’re a very honorable man,” he told Badalamenti. “I have no doubt that you’ve learned from this mistake.”
Badalamenti expressed remorse for causing “undue stress” to his relatives and friends. “I am truly sorry for what I did,” he said.
The court heard that Badalamenti instructed two Halliburton employees to delete data uncovered during a post-spill review of the cement job on the well. Halliburton had already pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge related to Badalamenti’s conduct. It notified the justice department about the deletion of the data, which could not be recovered, and last September it agreed to pay a $200,000 fine to settle the matter.
The sentencing comes as a series of BP workers are facing jail over the fatal spill. In December a jury convicted former BP drilling engineer Kurt Mix of obstructing justice. Mix was the first person to be convicted in relation to the spill. The jury concluded that Mix had deleted text messages to and from a BP supervisor as federal investigators began their inquiries into the disaster. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on March 26.
BP well site leaders Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine are fighting manslaughter charges stemming from the deaths of the 11 Deepwater Horizon workers. Prosecutors allege that the pair ignored warning signs of an imminent blowout of BP’s well and botched key safety tests.
In March, former BP vice president of exploration David Rainey is scheduled to face charges that he concealed information from Congress about the amount of oil that was spewing into the Gulf from BP’s well before the company sealed it.
BP is also facing a multi-billion fine under the clean water act in relation to the spill. US district court judge Carl Barbier concluded a two-part hearing on the spill last year and is assessing evidence about the number of barrels spilt and whether the company was “grossly negligent”. A finding of gross negligence would increase fines under the clean water act from $1,100 per barrel spilled through ordinary negligence to $4,300 per barrel.
The company acknowledged Friday that it had completed the final cementing of the oil well and pipe just 20 hours before the blowout last week.
And don’t forget this fact (!!!):
“Just eight days before the Gulf blow-out, Halliburton also announced that it had agreed to buy Boots & Coots for $240.4 million. Who are Boots & Coots?
The world’s largest oil-spill clean-up company which also deals with oil and gas well fires and blowouts.
What an incredibly fortunate coincidence. What a slice of luck.”