U.S. company Halliburton Energy Services has agreed to plead guilty to destroying evidence in connection with the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico three years ago.
A U.S. Justice Department statement
said that criminal information charging Halliburton with one count of destroying evidence was filed Thursday in a federal court in the state of Louisiana.
The statement said as part of the plea deal, Halliburton agreed to pay the maximum fine, be subject to three years' probation, and to continue cooperating in the government's probe into the oil spill.
Halliburtion said the fine was $200,000.
The company was a cement contractor for British oil giant BP on the giant drilling rig that exploded in April 2010. The blast killed 11 workers and spewed almost 5 million barrels of oil into waters off the southern U.S. Gulf coast over a nearly three-month period.
The Justice Department said Halliburton ordered the destruction of computer simulations and other evidence linked to the probe into the accident.
BP has accepted responsibility for the disaster and said its legal and cleanup costs could total $43 billion. The company has reached settlements with some other companies that played lesser roles in the explosion.