The Duncan Banner

Local News

September 20, 2013

Judge accepts Halliburton plea in 2010 Gulf oil spill

DUNCAN — A federal judge has accepted a plea agreement that calls for Halliburton Energy Services to pay a $200,000 fine for destroying evidence after BP’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Halliburton pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor charge stemming from the deletion of data during a post-spill review of the cement job on BP’s blown-out Macondo well.

The company could have withdrawn its guilty plea if U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo had rejected its deal with the Justice Department.

Halliburton also agreed to make a $55 million contribution to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, but that payment was not a condition of the deal.

The company was BP’s cement contractor on the drilling rig that exploded in the Gulf in April 2010, killing 11 workers.

Halliburton was founded in Duncan in by Erle P. Halliburton in 1919 and is one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry. It employs 75,000 people worldwide and still has major manufacturing, research and testing facilities in Duncan.

As of June 30, the company employed about 2,500 full- and part-time workers in Duncan. It has dual headquarters in Houston and Dubai.

Also Thursday, a former Halliburton employee was charged with destroying evidence following the BP oil spill.

Anthony Badalamenti, who had been the cementing technology director for Halliburton Energy Services, was charged in federal court with instructing two other employees to delete data during the post-spill review of the cement job on BP’s blown-out well.

The 61-year-old Badalamenti of Katy, Texas, is charged in a bill of information, which typically signals that a defendant is cooperating with prosecutors.

Prosecutors said that in May 2010, Badalamenti directed a senior program manager to rum computer simulations on centralizers, which are used to keep the casing centered in the wellbore. The results indicated there was little difference between using six or 21 centralizers.

The data could have supported BP’s decision to use the lower number.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 4-20 bestinshow - carshow.jpg Gawkers and gearheads gather for car show on Main Street

    A fairly accurate timeline of the internal combustion engine was represented at the 7th Annual Cruisin’ the Chisolm Trail car show this weekend in dowtown Duncan.

    April 20, 2014 10 Photos

  • 4-20dragsterphoto.jpg Car show had a big bang this year

    Nothing at the previous car shows ever went kablooey quite like the featured vehicle at Cruisin’ the Chisolm Trail’s opening night on Friday.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inaugural prayer breakfast in Duncan patterned after National Day of Prayer

    A new tradition will begin in Duncan on May 1 -- an annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast.

    April 20, 2014

  • The Well Outreach plans mentoring program for kids at risk

    The Well Outreach, Inc., will unveil its plans for an in-school mentoring program it will launch this fall during a Tuesday night meeting at its 913 W. Main Street storefront.

    April 20, 2014

  • Bench murder trial to be returned to August docket

    Although the first-degree murder trial for Miles Bench has been set to begin Monday, District Attorney Jason Hicks said the trial is unlikely to begin before August.

    April 20, 2014

  • Bench found competent, trial to start Monday

    A jury took 50 minutes on Thursday to find Miles Sterling Bench competent to stand trial for first-degree murder  and District Judge Joe Enos scheduled the trial to begin Monday.
    Bench, 23, of, Velma, is accused of the bludgeoning death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry of Velma. She was killed in June 2012 in the Teepee Totem convenience store in Velma where Bench was employed.

    April 18, 2014

  • 4-18 Miller and Decathlon 0016.jpg Miller pumps up decathlon students

    Dr. Ché Miller, who helped bridge a funding gap needed to send the Duncan High School Decathlon Team to the national competition in Hawaii, gave the team a pep talk on Thursday.
    Miller, recently recognized as the Man of the Year by the Duncan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told the students they are about to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and advised them to absorb as much of the experience as they can.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Churches prepare for Easter Sunday

    Churches throughout Duncan and Stephens County are preparing to celebrate Easter this Sunday, the day Christians celebrate the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven.
    Today is known as Good Friday to mark the day Christ was crucified on a cross.

    April 18, 2014

  • 4-18 lauren-ellis mug.jpg Ellis named new CEO of regional United Way

    Lauren Ellis, who’s led the United Way of Stephens County for more than two years, has been named the new chief executive officer of the United Way of Southwest Oklahoma.
    Her new job will be based in Lawton but Ellis said she will remain in Duncan and commute.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jurors to decide Bench competency issue today

    Jurors will hear final arguments on Thursday and then be asked to determine whether  23-year-old Miles Sterling Bench is mentally competent to stand trial for first-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry nearly two years ago.

    April 17, 2014