Halliburton Worker Gets Probation for Destroying Well Tests

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January 21, 2014

Deepwater Horizon in flames in the Gulf of Mexico, April 21, 2010. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) — A former Halliburton Co. manager was spared jail for destroying well-testing evidence after BP Plc’s 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey in New Orleans today sentenced Anthony Badalamenti to probation for one misdemeanor count of evidence destruction, Peter Carr, a U.S. Justice Department spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement. The judge also ordered Badalamenti to pay a $1,000 fine and perform 100 hours of community service.

Badalamenti was a supervisor for Halliburton Energy Services Inc., which provided cementing operations on offshore wells. He admitted in October that he ordered a subordinate to delete the results of computer simulations run on the cement seal of BP’s Macondo well after it blew up in April 2010, triggering the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

Officials of the Halliburton unit agreed last year that the Houston-based company would plead guilty to a charge of destroying evidence for failing to preserve computer models examining the well’s cement job. A judge fined the subsidiary $200,000 and put it on probation for three years.

A Halliburton spokeswoman, Emily Mir, declined to immediately comment on Badalamenti’s sentencing.

Destroying Tests

BP, based in London, accused Halliburton of destroying the tests so they couldn’t be used to show the cement contractor was at fault for the blowout. The companies have sued each other over liability for the disaster, in which 11 people died.

BP agreed to pay $4 billion to resolve a federal criminal probe of its role in the spill. The company pleaded guilty to 14 counts, including 11 for felony seaman’s manslaughter.

A former BP engineer is awaiting sentencing after being convicted in December of destroying evidence by deleting text messages related to BP’s efforts to stop the spill.

The case is U.S. v. Badalamenti, 13-cr-00204, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans).

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