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Deepwater Horizon

A former Halliburton manager pleaded guilty in a U.S. District Court on Tuesday to intentionally destroying evidence connected with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Prior to the 2010 spill, Halliburton was hired by British Petroleum to run tests on the “centralizers,” plugs that would prevent such a spill from ever happening. Halliburton suggested using 21 centralizers, but BP used just six.

Anthony Badalamenti was the cementing technology director overseeing the Macondo Prospect. The Macondo well was the site of the rig explosion that killed 11 employees and sent 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, setting off the largest offshore oil spill in the history of the United States.

On Tuesday, Badalamenti pleaded guilty to ordering two Halliburton employees to delete the findings of a review regarding the cementing work done at the Macondo well, which was completed after the spill.

Badalamenti isn’t the first person to be charged in connection with the Deepwater Horizon incident. Two well site leaders will face trial for manslaughter charges after ignoring high pressure readings resulting in the explosion and subsequent death of the 11 rig employees. A BP engineer is being charged with deleting correspondence about the oil and gas company’s response to the spill. And a former BP executive is also charged with keeping information from Congress about the actual amount of oil being released into the Gulf during the 87 days it took to contain the spill.

Badalamenti’s sentencing date is set for January 21. If found guilty he could face the maximum sentence of one year in prison.

Photo: ideum via Flickr

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