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Halliburton manager given probation over destroyed Gulf oil spill evidence

22 January 2014

On January 21 a former Halliburton manager was sentenced to one year of probation for destroying evidence following the 2010 spill from the Macondo oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.
Anthony Badalamenti had faced a maximum of one year in prison at his sentencing by US District Judge Jay Zainey.

Badalamenti pleaded guilty in October to one misdemeanor count of destruction of evidence. He also has to perform 100 hours of community service and pay a $1,000 fine.

Badalamenti was the cementing technology director for Halliburton Energy Services Inc., BP's cement contractor on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. Prosecutors said he instructed two Halliburton employees to delete data during a post-spill review of the cement job on BP's blown-out Macondo well.

Halliburton made its own deal with the Justice Department and pleaded guilty in September to a misdemeanor charge related to Badalamenti's conduct. The company agreed to pay a $200,000 fine and make a $55 million contribution to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, but the latter payment was not a condition of the deal.

Four current or former BP employees also have been charged in federal court with spill-related crimes.

On December 18, a jury convicted former BP drilling engineer Kurt Mix of trying to obstruct a federal probe of the spill. Prosecutors said Mix was trying to destroy evidence when he deleted a string of text messages to and from a BP supervisor.

Mix faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. His sentencing is set for March 26.

BP well site leaders Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges stemming from the deaths of 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon. Prosecutors claim Kaluza and Vidrine botched a key safety test and disregarded abnormally high pressure readings that were glaring signs of trouble before the April 2010 blowout of BP's Macondo well triggered a deadly explosion.

Former BP executive David Rainey was charged with concealing information from Congress about the amount of oil that was gushing from BP's well before the company sealed it.
 


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