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Halliburton has signed an agreement with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) to plead guilty for destroying evidence related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster that occurred in 2010.

Under the agreement, the company will pay the maximum statutory fine of $200,000 and accept a term of three years probation, as well as give $55m to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, which is not part of the plea agreement.

The department has also agreed to stop further criminal prosecution of Halliburton or its subsidiaries for any conduct arising out of the Macondo well incident.

A US DoJ statement said: "Efforts to forensically recover the original destroyed Displace 3D computer simulations during ensuing civil litigation and federal criminal investigation by the Deepwater Horizon Task Force were unsuccessful."

Prior to the blowout, Halliburton had suggested BP use 21 centralisers in the Macondo well, while BP preferred to use only six centralisers.

"The company will pay the maximum statutory fine of $200,000 and accept a term of three years probation."

In May 2010, Halliburton formed an internal working group to investigate the Macondo well blowout and found there was little difference between using six and 21 centralisers.

Halliburton then distroyed this evidence and has now pleaded guilty to doing so.

BP and rig operator Transocean have also admitted being responsible for the disaster.

The Deepwater Horizon rig blowout, which is the largest oil spill in US history, occurred on 20 April 2010 at the Macondo well site in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 rig workers.


Image: Blowout of the Macondo well in 2010.

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