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NEW YORK – (AFP) – Halliburton Energy Services has admitted destroying evidence relating to the devastating 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, federal officials said.
A Justice Department statement said Halliburton — which constructed the cement casing of the well at the center of the disaster — had carried out its own internal investigations following the accident in April 2010.
However, results of computer simulations carried out in May and June 2010 were ordered to be destroyed and were unable to be recovered, the Justice Department said.
In addition to a guilty plea for destruction of evidence, Halliburton has agreed to pay the maximum statutory fine and also made a separate and voluntary $55 million payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Eleven people died and some 4.9 million barrels of oil were sent gushing into the Gulf over a three-month period after the explosion at the offshore oil rig.
It was the largest offshore oil disaster in US history, wreaking havoc on the region’s environment and economy.