The American contractor that worked for BP on the Gulf of Mexico oil rig announced Thursday that it would plead guilty to destroying evidence relating to the 2010 explosion that sparked the biggest oil spill in U.S. history.

Houston-based Halliburton admitted to destroying computer simulations that showed that there was no difference between certain technical specifications the company recommended for BP and the doomed structure the oil company opted to build.

The catastrophe killed 11 men, caused billions of dollars worth of damage to the Gulf region’s fishing and tourism industries, especially on the Louisiana coastline, and inflicted terrible environmental damage.

BP has so far paid more than $40 billion in legal costs and compensation payouts. Those expenses are still mounting as up to 10,000 new claims are filed each month.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Telegraph:

Halliburton had advised BP to include 21 “centralisers” in the oil well being drilled by Deepwater Horizon. However, BP chose to use six of the metal protrusions, which are fixed to the outside of a long metal pipe lowered into the well, and used to keep it centred so it does not crash into the walls of the well.

BP had asked Halliburton for the simulation numerous times, and in 2011 resorted to legal action.

It claimed in a lawsuit that Halliburton had “intentionally” destroyed evidence in order to “eliminate any risk” that it would be used against the Houston company at trial.

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