This week in entirely unsurprising news: Halliburton destroyed evidence of their own culpability after the BP oil spill. They’ve now agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges for it and to pay a whopping $200,000 fine, which I assume will merely come out of petty cash.
The US Department of Justice said that prior to the blowout at the rig, Halliburton had recommended to BP that the Macondo well contain 21 centralisers – metal collars that can improve cementing.
However, BP chose to use only six.
The justice department said that Halliburton had run two computer simulations of the Macondo well’s final cementing job to compare the impact of using six versus 21 centralisers.
It said the results of these simulations indicated that there was little difference.
The department said that Halliburton’s programme manager “was directed to, and did, destroy these results”.
“Efforts to forensically recover the original destroyed Displace 3D computer simulations during ensuing civil litigation and federal criminal investigation by the Deepwater Horizon Task Force were unsuccessful,” it added.
“In agreeing to plead guilty, Halliburton has accepted criminal responsibility for destroying the aforementioned evidence.”
So they get fined $200,000. Their executives probably spend more than that on escorts in a weekend. They did this because they knew they could get away with it and face, at the most, a small fine. That’s the same reason they bribed foreign officials, violated our sanctions against Iran, overcharged the government over and over again and did other things that made them a ton of money. Because they knew if they got caught, it would only cost them a fraction of what they’d earned.
How do you fix this? Start putting CEOs in jail. That’ll put a stop to it quickly.