Last Tuesday, Anthony Badalamenti became the first person to enter a plea of guilty for crimes associated with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion that killed 11 workers and led to the most devastating offshore oil spill in petroleum history. Badalamenti, technology director for Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, was charged with destroying key evidence that shielded Badalamenti, his former employer, and other companies involved from potentially billions of dollars of blame. Despite damage estimates that currently exceed $40 billion and the substantial loss of life in this explosion, Badalamenti's guilty plea can only amount to a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
According to the Associated Press, a former Halliburton manager pleaded guilty to destroying evidence following the deadly Deep Water Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. Anthony Badalamenti, 62, of Katy, Texas, faces a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison and a $100,000 fine after his guilty plea in U.S. District Court. His sentencing by U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey is set for Jan. 21. Badalamenti was the cementing technology director for Halliburton. 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.
According to the Washington Post, Transocean, the driller whose floating Deepwater Horizon rig blew up in 2010, has agreed to settle civil and criminal claims with the federal government for $1.4 billion. The Deepwater Horizon exploded, burned and sank in April 2010. Eleven men were killed as a result. The Macondo well was owned by British oil giant BP, which settled its criminal charges and some of its civil charges in November for $4.5 billion. While this settlement resolves the government's claims against Transocean, that company and the others involved in the spill still face the sprawling, multistate civil case, which is scheduled to begin in February in New Orleans. In a deal filed in federal court in New Orleans, a subsidiary, Transocean Deepwater, agreed to one criminal misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act and will pay a fine of $100 million. Over the next five years, the company will pay civil penalties of $1 billion, the largest ever under the act. Transocean also agreed to pay the National Academy of Sciences and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation $150 million each. The agreement will be subject to public comment and court approval. The company agreed to five years of monitoring of its drilling practices and improved safety measures. Under a law passed last year, 80 percent of the penalty will be applied to projects for restoring the environment and economies of gulf states.